The experience level of the Arcola School District Board of Education took a significant hit on Wednesday, May 10 when four board members stepped down from the school board after several years of service. In total, the board members leaving have served over 54 years on the Arcola School Board.
Dr. Tom Mulligan presented each board member with a plaque from the district in sincere appreciation for their many years of service to the children of Arcola. Dr. Mulligan also made a few comments about each board member.
Dr. Mulligan indicated that Craig Wesch had served on the board for four years. He came on the board just prior to the pandemic and was instrumental in helping to lead the district through that challenging time. Dr. Mulligan also shared that Craig always read, researched, and really thought through issues before making a decision. He was a terrific listener and was always very prepared and took his role and responsibility as a board member very seriously.
Dr. Mulligan then recognized Chad Strader, who served 15 years on the school board with many of those years serving as board president. Dr. Mulligan reiterated that Chad was tremendous at viewing all issues from different perspectives. He also shared that Chad’s years of experience as a coach and his passion for working with children really helped shape him as a board member. Chad always showed great compassion and if he was going to error, it was going to be on the side of a child. Mr. Strader then shared a few words with those present. He thanked the entire community for the tremendous support over the years. He is very proud of the district and its accomplishments and that he often receives compliments about the district from people outside the community. He thanked Dr. Mulligan and all of the staff for their commitment to the district. He also thanked the board members for their service and wished the new board luck going forward.
Dr. Mulligan then recognized Jim Crane who served 16 years on the school board, many of those years as president or vice president. Dr. Mulligan joked that if you looked up the word volunteer in the dictionary you might just see a picture of Jim. Not only did he fulfil his duties as a board member, he went above and beyond by volunteering his engineering expertise to the district on many occasions and also by coaching middle school athletics all completely as a volunteer. Dr. Mulligan indicated that Jim demanded fairness and equal treatment for everyone and that he constantly reminded the board about the importance of being transparent to the community. Mr. Crane then shared a few comments as well. He shared that the saying “leave it better than you found it” really applies here. He feels that he and his fellow board members are definitely doing that with the school district.
Finally, Dr. Mulligan recognized Dr. Robert Arrol. Dr. Arrol served a total of 19 years on the school board though in two different stints. Dr. Mulligan shared that the board will greatly miss Dr. Arrol’s knowledge of the history of Arcola and also his passion for the community. Dr. Mulligan also shared that Dr. Arrol strongly believes in fiscal responsibility as well as professional, legal, and ethical conduct for everyone involved in the school. Dr. Mulligan closed by saying that Dr. Arrol always modeled those ideals in his own conduct on the board. His experience and wisdom will be greatly missed on the board.
The entire school community would like to thank these four individuals for the profound impact they have had on thousands of children in Arcola over many years. They will be greatly missed.