At Tuesday night's School Committee meeting, fellow Committee members and local educators recognized Tom Hetherman for his service to District 1 students and families over the past four years.
Committee Chairperson Kathy Patenaude presented Hetherman with a proclamation recognizing his accomplishments during his term and thanking him for his dedication.
"It is with great sadness that we will be losing our friend, colleague and someone who has done tremendous work," she said. "He has been a colleague that we are proud to have worked with. Tom worked tirelessly on the CTA contract and getting the schools bonds passed among many other things and we thank you for the time you spent here away from your family. Your dedication is truly appreciate by us and by the public."
"I think Tom is a wonderful role model for public servants," said Committee Vice-Chair Nancy Sprengelmeyer. "He is dedicated to everything he does - to his family, his community and to this committee. You are a lifetime friend and we will call on you all the time."
Hetherman said that he is looking forward to spending more time with his friends and family and doing what he enjoys, such as taking his boat out on Johnson's Pond during the warm weather. He plans on staying involved with his community, especially during the process of watching the recently-passed school improvement projects come to fruition.
"It's been a fun and rewarding four years," said Hetherman. "The crowning jewel was definitely November 6. I don't think that anyone thought we would have gotten all five bonds passed, but we got it all done so I feel that what I wanted to accomplish, I accomplished."
"During my time here we were also able to get a nice three-year contract with the CTA through some creative thinking from both sides and the kids at the high school will no longer have rain coming in from the ceilings and pieces of tile falling in on them. I think we left the students in much better shape than they were in before over the past four years," he continued.
Several additional Committee members and town education officials praised Hetherman for the work he has done, including Mike Hobin, Mike Convery, Kelly Erinakes, Sue Lyons, Frank Hyde, Judi Liner and Western Coventry Elementary School Principal Janice Sullivan.
"Tom has been such a pivotal piece of Western Coventry School for four years," said Sullivan. "He has supported me, my staff and the children 100% and his presence has always been so appreciated."
Sullivan then presented Hetherman with a poster of the Western Wise Owl designed by art teacher Michelle Gauthier and signed by the entire Western Coventry fifth grade class.
"Thank you, that's going right up in my home office," said Hetherman.
The District 1 School Committee position will now be filled by Ann Dickson who was elected on Nov. 6.