|Retiring School Board Chairman Jimmy Gander with Mayor Van Johnson|
Members of the Franklin County School Board, teachers, support staff, city and county elected officials, former state and county elected officials along with members of the Franklin County community all gathered last night inside the Franklin County Consolidated School cafeteria in Eastpoint to honor and celebrate the retirement of long-serving district 4 school board member Jimmy Gander and the legacy he leaves behind.
The retirement banquet and celebration was the vision of school board member Teresa Martin to honor Gander's 20 years of service as a member of the Franklin County School Board first elected in 1994. During his tenure on the board his fellow board members entrusted him with leadership of the board as its chairman for an unprecedented 14 consecutive years, which started in the year 2000.
Retiring School Board Chairman Jimmy Gander with former
school board member and state representative Will Kendrick
Recognizing Gander's contribution to the school district with a Proclamation was Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson along with City Commissioners Frank Cook, Brenda Ash, Mitchell Bartley and City Administrator Betty Webb. The Proclamation read by Mayor Johnson acknowledged Gander for exemplary excellence in the development of school board policies, leadership in the 2008 construction of the Franklin County Consolidated School, vision in the 2011 construction of a multi-purpose building and the 2007 initiative, which named the school board meeting room after former educator Willie B Speed.
Gander also was honored in a Resolution from the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners read by Alan Pierce, Director of Administrative Services for his leadership over the school district and for first serving the people of Franklin County starting in 1984 on the Franklin County Board of Adjustment.
In other recognition he received the first ever Centennial Bank Community Service Award for his work as a school board member from Donnie Gay, Marketing President at Centennial. While Will Kendrick, a former school board member and a former member of the Florida House of Representatives recounted the time he and Gander served together on the school board.
There were a host of remarks made and well wishes heaped upon Gander from colleagues, teachers and elected officials, which included, school board members Teresa Martin, Pam Shiver and George Thompson along with school board attorney Barbara Sanders, Cathy Woods, teacher and President of the Franklin County Teachers Association, James Harris, Jr., Franklin County Tax Collector and Chimene Johnson, Principal at Apalachicola Bay Charter School.
All spoke highly of Gander who was most noted and echoed by many for being a man that spoke few words, but stood by what he spoke.
The entertainment on the evening was highlighted by an outstanding performance from Saxophonist Chris Godber out of Panama City, followed by a beautiful inspirational dance performed by Morgan Martin to Josh Brogan's You Raise Me Up.
The buffet style dinner was prepared by students from the schools culinary art class.