The Bexley school board won't look the same when it meets for the first time in 2010.

The Bexley school board won't look the same when it meets for the first time in 2010.

Veteran school board members Steve Grossman and Andrew Sutter said their goodbyes at the Dec. 14 board meeting.

After 12 years on the board of education, Grossman said it was time for a change.

Stepping aside provides a chance to develop new leaders who bring fresh ideas, said Grossman, who ran for the board because he was concerned about school financing.

"I had a goal to create a school income tax," he said. "I wanted to diversity our revenue base which we have succeeded in doing until now."

Bexley voters approved a school district income tax in 2004. Superintendent Mike Johnson said earlier this year the school district would likely recommend a levy for the November 2010 ballot.

Sutter, who was on the board for eight years and had been serving as its president, said his mother was a teacher and he taught when he lived in New York. He also ran because he was interested in finances.

"That was the other real motivator," Sutter said. "I chaired one of the tax levies and the bond campaign to renovate our (facilities)."

Sutter said he ran for the board of education because he felt an obligation to see that the building renovations were completed and to make sure someone on the board was familiar with the project.

Grossman also served on the school board when voters approved the $27-milllion bond issue that provided money for improvements at Maryland Elementary and the Cassingham Complex.

Some people in the community wanted to see the three elementary schools consolidated into two, the middle school expanded and a new high school built, Grossman said.

He is most proud of serving on the board when the income tax and bond levy were passed, and when Johnson was hired as superintendent.

Sutter said he is proud of the introduction of best practices for each of the district's buildings, more demanding math and science courses at the high school and the expansion of the foreign language program in elementary school.

The most challenging and rewarding part of being on the school board for Grossman was learning to get along with four other board members.

"I didn't think that five school board members could work as well as we have throughout the 12 years that I have been on the board," he said.

Sutter said the board often takes action slower than he liked, which was challenging. By serving on the board, he learned he can be impatient.

"We want to make sure we give a full airing, not just for the board but to hear from the community," he said.

Grossman will stay involved with the school district and be available if anyone seeks advice. He would like to be involved with the upcoming school levy campaign.

"I see myself as a senior adviser," he said.

Sutter said he will be available to help new board members Carol Ann Fey and Marlee Snowdon, if needed.

The "institution survives the departure of any and all of its members," he said of the school board.