It was a bittersweet moment for Dana Drake and Cathy LeCompte, as the two school board members took their virtual seats at the Lawrence Township Public Schools Board of Education’s last meeting of the year on Dec. 9.
For the two school board members, that meeting was also their last meeting. Drake and LeCompte each lost their election bid for a three-year term on the board in the Nov. 3 general election.
School board president Kevin Van Hise said he wanted to extend his “sincere appreciation and thanks” to Drake and LeCompte for their service and all the contributions they had made. The school district is fortunate to have had two dedicated school board members in Drake and LeCompte, he said.
Drake, whose father Leon Kaplan previously served on the school board, stepped up to the role of school board vice president, Van Hise said. He described Drake as a confidante who often helped him when he needed it.
Karen Faiman, the executive director of the Lawrence Township Education Foundation, thanked Drake for her role as the school board’s liaison to the foundation.
“We are going to miss your support,” Faiman said.
School board member Michele Bowes offered her thanks to Drake “for all the things you have done for the personnel committee.” Bowes and Drake served on the school board’s personnel committee.
“For myself, Dana has been a tremendous role model and school board member. She taught me so much. She set a very high standard for the Lawrence Township Public Schools,” Bowes said.
School board member Pepper Evans thanked LeCompte for serving on the finance committee with her.
“It will be a different school board going forward,” Evans said, commenting on the departure of Drake and LeCompte.
While the school board members paid tribute to Drake and LeCompte, there were still routine business matters that needed to be carried out on the agenda – from personnel issues to school business matters.
“I’ll make may last motion. I move ‘new business items’ ” Drake said. The motion carried and the items were approved.
Then it was LeCompte’s turn to make a motion – the final one of her tenure on the school board, and the final motion of the evening.
“I make a motion to adjourn,” LeCompte said.
And with that motion, Drake and LeCompte stepped off the school board into private life.