Kenneth Graber made his exit from the Lancaster School on Monday after serving 12 years on the board.
Graber served under three superintendents during his board tenure and also led it as president for a cumulative five-year total at different points through his 12 years of service.
Board President Patrick Uhteg praised Graber’s contributions and dedication to the district.
“I consider him the king of service to his community and the district, because of all his volunteerism in the community,” Uhteg said afterward. “When you need somebody to roast hot dogs, Ken Graber will step up and volunteer.”
Graber was board president a year ago during the district’s divisive decision to drop the popular Redskins mascot, which led to a hostile divide in the community and dominated the last two board elections.
At times, Graber, who is of Jewish heritage, weathered anti-Semitic comments that opponents directed at him personally in the heat of the Redskins debate. Throughout the mascot controversy, he remained true to his belief in the need for the nickname change which many say is offensive to Native Americans.
In his parting remarks, Graber sought to take the high road.
“We can discuss things as ladies and gentlemen. That’s how you get things done,” he said of the board.
Even though the 5-2 pro-administration board has been divisive on many issues, Graber praised it for accomplishing “quite a bit” and welcomed incoming board member Sue Metz, who was elected to his seat. He ended by saying, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Retired district administrator Mildred Whittaker, a personal friend of Graber, complimented him.
“He not only reads his agenda and knows what’s going on. He likes to visit the schools,” she said.
In his parting remarks, Graber acknowledged a long list of school administrators, staff, board members and others he has worked with.
Among those not mentioned were board members Brenda Christopher and Kelly Depczynski – both of whom have been at odds with Graber largely over the former mascot issue. After the meeting, they said they felt left out.
He decided not to seek re-election.