Long-time Saline Area Schools principal Betty Rosen-Leacher said goodbye to the district during Tuesday's Board of Education meeting, held remotely over a Zoom call.
Earlier this year, Rosen-Leacher, announced her retirement. She'd been principal at Pleasant Ridge Elementary School for one year after nine years in the role at Harvest Elementary School. She's been with the district for 15 years.
"It's important to me after 15 years of serving the district to say thank you to our entire Saline community - our families, our students and, most importantly, our staff and the administrative team," Rosen-Leacher said. "My blessings have been too numerous to count, but the work that we do is good and is important."
Rosen-Leacher reminded the members of the board of their important role as caretakers of the school community.
"Our students are the center and forefront of our table and are what every decision we make must be focused on," Rosen-Leacher said.
She said Saline's administrative group is the hardest-working group of school leaders she's ever worked with.
"There can't be enough said about who they are and what they do. I hope brought just an ounce of something to them in the time I had to serve with them," Rosen-Leacher said.
Rosen-Leacher left the board with a few remarks about her mantra.
"My mantra is to be a listener. More than ever, that's the most important thing. We need to remember that. We lift up those doing really heavy work - especially now - so that they can carry on and take care of the students we serve," Rosen-Leacher said.
Several trustees thanked Rosen-Leacher for her dedication to district's students and, in some cases, their own students.
Trustee Tim Austin said Rosen-Leacher was the first principal for both of his children.
"Thank you, Betty. You played such an important role. It was our first engagement with the school system," Austin said. "When our kids left Harvest, my wife looked at me and said, 'Boy, we're not going to have Betty anymore.'"
Trustee Jennifer Steben told Rosen-Leacher she is loved and she will be missed.
"I know this is not the last we will hear from you in education, and helping future generations of leaders of leaders and administrators and teachers," Steben said. "So thank you."
Board Vice-President Paul Hynek thanked Rosen-Leacher for helping him understand issues around schools and policies.
Trustee Michael McVey said Rosen-Leacher was generous with her time and resources.
The district has begun the search for Rosen-Leacher's replacement at Pleasant Ridge Elementary.