Members of the Poway Unified School Board and the community expressed deep gratitude and genuine appreciation for outgoing president Linda Vanderveen at Monday night's monthly meeting.
Vanderveen, who has served on the board for 14 years, said she was proud to serve for the district, calling it "truly the finest."
"Poway has been a leader in education excellence," Vanderveen told the board and audience that packed the PUSD District Office room Dec. 10. "It has been a privilege and honor working with you."
The active education advocate has publicly served in the education system for 29 years, when she first became involved in the PTA in the Poway Unified School District.
Vanderveen's family and friends came out to support her.
Board member Penny Ranftle said Vanderveen's dedication to the school system has been "unparallelled."
"I've never met someone more dedicated," Ranftle said.
Todd Gutschow, who also serves on the board, called Vanderveen a "role model," not only for students, but for himself.
The general consensus across the board regarding Vanderveen's dedication and intentions was that of honor and respect.
"I praise you for your honesty and candor," District Superintendent John Collins told Vanderveen. "Your style is refreshing."
Other members from the community came out to show their support and appreciation for Vanderveen, including the Poway Mayor Don Higginson.
"You guys have done a stellar job," Higginson told the board. "The city of Poway will never forget Linda Vanderveen."
Multiple organizations, like College Bound San Diego and the PUSD Foundation, presented gifts to Vanderveen; and the school board gave the outgoing prez a particularly special painting to her.
After the public told Vanderveen that she'd be missed, as she was "instrumental" to the district, incumbent member Andy Patapow and newcomer Kimberley Beatty were sworn into office.
"My first commitment is to the well-being of our youth," Beatty told the board and public. "I'm a fierce advocate for public education."
New office members were chosen at the Dec. 10 meeting as well:
- Marc Davis, President
- Todd Gutschow, Vice President
- Penny Ranftle, Clerk
The next board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 22.