After 18 years of service, Lockport School Board President W. Keith McNall resigned his post Wednesday to take his place as the Niagara County legislator for the 16th District.
Even before his last board meeting began, the district threw a reception for him featuring cookies, punch, tea and coffee.
During the session, his eight fellow board members couldn't stop saying wonderful things about him and how much he has done for both the students and taxpayers of the Lockport area.
Not a mean, nasty or even neutral comment was made.
Even new board President Marietta Schrader, who took over the gavel, consulted McNall on when she should bring it down as the board acted on several matters.
"Do I bang this down now?" she asked McNall on one occasion.
Board member David Nemi said McNall was a good leader who helped the board work together and get things done because he is a "gentleman" and knows how to "listen," two qualities that made him a successful board president.
Board member Thomas Fiegl said the thing he admired most about McNall is that everything he did "was for the good of the students and the district."
Board member Kevin Duffy said McNall was a successful leader "because he never had a nasty thing to say about anybody in the couple years I have worked with him." He said McNall could work well with anyone.
Allen Jack, who went to school with McNall as a boy and, "considering everything we did" way back when, said, "If someone had told me we'd be on the School Board together, I'd have said you're nuts." Then he complimented McNall for the job he has done.
McNall thanked the board for working hard to get things done, saying he was proud to be part of it and especially pleased to see five consecutive district budgets passed carrying very small property tax increases. On one occasion, the tax rate went down.
He said, "We did more with less," and "our students did better each year."
He also said if the board or the district needs assistance from him in the future, he would be glad to lend a hand.