BELPRE - The Belpre City Schools District Board of Education ended 2013 by bidding a fond farewell to a longtime board member and champion of the schools during its regular meeting Monday.
Members of the school district and public spoke of their experiences as students, co-workers and friends of Rod Hineman as he will retire from the board at the end of the calendar year following 14 years of service.
"In the two-and-a-half years I have been here, it has been a real pleasure to have him as one of my bosses," said Superintendent Tony Dunn.
Larry Lorentz, former director of instruction for the district who retired in July, thanked Hineman for going the extra mile for the students.
"As an educator, we have an obligation to students in the classroom and Rod performed that very well," Lorentz said of the retired Belpre High School teacher. "It's those other contributions we make sometimes that really influences the students and makes them the responsible and involved adults they have become."
Fellow board member Mike Wile said it is an honor to have known and worked with the man who started the more than 30-years-strong Belpre Student Government Day.
"For the last 10 years Rod has sat to my left side," Wile said. "He has been a friend, a mentor. I don't think people realize how much this board is going to lose as Mr. Hineman retires."
Board president Leonard Wiggins thanked Hineman for teaching him and many others the importance of being involved in their community.
"I was in the first class to do Student Government Day, I believe, and being in Mr. Hineman's classes really taught me the importance of involvement," Wiggins said. "You, Mr. Hineman, planted the seed of being involved in the community and now I work with several groups, including the Girl Scouts, and volunteer on two fire departments and it is a blessing."
Hineman announced his plans to leave the board two years ago. He will continue to represent Belpre on the Washington County Career Center board and will give monthly reports to the Belpre BOE.
As of January, Hineman's seat will be occupied by current Belpre City Councilman Bob Wallace who was elected in November.
Wallace was elected to this latest council term in 2011 after returning to the area from a 10-year stint living in Tennessee. He previously served three four-year terms on the board of education and was the Belpre High School principal for 19 years before his 1993 retirement.
In other business:
* Board member Fred Meredith was appointed to serve a two-year term on the executive committee for the Southeastern Region of the Ohio School Board Association from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 21, 2015.
"Fred has done a great deal of studying and I have seen a tremendous amount of growth in him as a board member in the past couple of years," said Dunn. "He will represent Southeast Ohio and Belpre schools very well."
* The board will hold its yearly organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13, with the regular board meeting to immediately follow at 7 p.m.
The state school board mandates the organizational meeting be held before Jan. 15.
Wiggins will be the president pro-tem for the organizational meeting.