Citing a desire to spend more time with his family and focus his efforts on other endeavors, Richard Mabey has submitted his letter of resignation from the South Windsor Board of Education, effective March 1.
Mabey, a Republican, spent nearly six years on the school board.
“It has been one of the best experiences I have had,” Mabey wrote in an e-mail to Patch. “Education consumes the bulk of my life as I am also a high school teacher and working to improve our school system for the past 6 years has been extremely rewarding. As I tell my government students, ‘No complaining unless it is met with action’ — I needed to get involved when I did because I saw things that I wanted to be a part of fixing.”
Mabey said he is proud that the board expanded the Advanced Placement program — both the number of high school students taking AP classes and the number of classes offered — during his tenure. Mabey also said he was pleased with the appointments of math and reading specialists to help South Windsor students compete “in the most competitive DRG” in the state.
In addition, Mabey counted the board’s hiring of administrators, particularly that of Superintendent Dr. Kate Carter and school principals, as a major success of the last six years.
“[Hiring Carter] has been one of our biggest accomplishments … as it has set our school system on a path to great heights as she was a rising star when we hired her a couple years ago and now is one of the finest superintendents in CT in a very short period of time,” Mabey wrote.
Still, there were also some things that were not accomplished during his tenure.
“I would have liked to have overseen the elementary school buildings being taken care of — that is something that keeps me up at night and two failed referendums to address those needs certainly falls in part on us as a BOE and particularly myself for not getting more of our residents to see the importance of this,” Mabey wrote.
Although he is a classroom teacher, Mabey said he believes that there are critical needs for the schools’ athletics facilities and programs.
“We have to stop pinning school books/teachers/ computers against fields/uniforms and facilities — they go hand in hand and our priorities will never be confused as only about 1 percent of our entire budget goes towards athletic programs even though approximately 50 percent of our high school students participate in some type of sport, intramural or fitness activities after school hours,” Mabey wrote. “We need to be a shining star in our classrooms and yes on our stages and on our fields — there is nothing wrong with a better balance there.”
All in all, though, Mabey is looking forward to more free time.
“I never feel I get enough [time to spend with my family],” Mabey said, noting that he has a daughter who just entered high school, a son in 7th grade and another son in 3rd grade. “My wife Sharon has been so supportive of my time on the BOE, but I would also like to have some more time together watching our kids perform athletically and in other interest areas they have.”
Mabey is the second school board member to resign in as many months. Democrat Mark Abrahamson, citing professional reasons, submitted his letter of resignation to the school board last month, effective Jan. 1.
Michael Gonzalez was sworn in last week to fill the vacancy.