I had the honor of serving as emcee at our school superintendent’s retirement send off. Here’s a few comments I made…
Larry Zimmerman’s frame of reference throughout his tenure as school superintendent allowed him to weigh key issues and decisions and balance his approach for our schools and our community with patience, a keen mind, caution and perseverance. Larry’s success is founded on his reference points… family, friendships and foresight.
Yes money is key. Yes politics is key. Yes competition is key. Yes requirements is key.
But, with the extreme honor of me standing here before you on this day of congratulations for a job well done, I can tell you personally that without a superintendent that is first a family man, second, a gentleman of the people and third, an intelligent leader with vision and foresight, we would have not had the fortunate years as we have had with Larry Zimmerman at the helm of our schools.
Larry is an outstanding father. He and his wife, Brenda, raised three Eagle Scouts, a trio of extremely talented sons – gifted physically, mentally, socially – all college students – with good heads on their shoulders – (well, there is Evan). Seriously, with having children of his own in our schools, he had the compassion and empathy for parents and families of our school system.
Larry’s friendships extend far beyond Marysville and Union County. I’m sure he could have needed his friendships much more at crucial times, during up and down moments and while making key decisions. He has always been an approachable administrator and a supportive friend. His close friendships have allowed him to keep his work in perspective and although all of us have enemies, Larry accepted his foes and keep them close out of respect for our schools and our kids.
His best friend and wife, Brenda, has been a stronghold for Larry. She patiently sat through many meeting nights, she calmly handled jabs at her husband from the public with grace and decorum and she stood beside her sons and their activities when Larry couldn’t be there because of work conflicts.
And the third F – foresight – Larry knew the proper time to do the proper thing is before he had to do it. His vision for our schools is the reason why Marysville has grown and why Marysville is an attractive place to live – one of the leading desireable towns to raise children in Ohio.
It is my extreme honor to be part of his historic day. Larry Zimmerman will go down in the Marysville history books alongside the likes of G. L. Kingsmore. He’s been a picture perfect example of a teacher, a coach, an administrator and a superintendent.
Thank you all for being here to honor Larry and his family. Let’s enjoy these moments together this afternoon, knowing that we are a huge part of Marysville history and the success and lasting pride of Marysville Exempted Village Schools.