Jokes, appreciation and a power outage marked the recognition of former Dublin City Schools Superintendent David Axner.
The Dublin Board of Education recognized Axner for his service to the district at a meeting Monday, Sept. 9, most of it done in the dark as the 1919 building at Sells Middle School experienced a power outage mid-meeting.
Axner came to Dublin City Schools in fall 2007 after the district lost both its superintendent and treasurer after a personal relationship scandal.
Board of education members said Axner led the district through a rough time into a brighter age.
"You did come to us when we needed a strong leader," said Lynn May, a board member. "You took us a great distance."
Board Vice President Gwen Callender called Axner a strong leader that helped improve everyone around him.
"You made me a better person," she said.
Board Member Scott Melody met Axner shortly before he started his first term on the board of education and said he left the impression of integrity and passion of education.
During his tenure in Dublin, Axner assembled a strong staff, Board Member Stu Harris said.
"On a professional note, here in Dublin you look around the room and you can tell a lot about a great leader," Harris said. "He surrounds himself with other great leaders."
Board President Chris Valentine also recalled an early meeting with Axner.
"We were walking outside (after the initial interview) and I said to Gwen (Callender), 'That's going to be our superintendent,' " he said.
Despite a few jokes made at Axner's expense, Valentine said he made sacrifices to lead Dublin City Schools, spending time apart from his family as they made the move from Chagrin Falls to Dublin.
"You have a lot of priorities," he told Axner, "but at the end of the day, they were your No. 1 priority."
During his comments, Axner thanked his family.
"Chris (Axner's wife) is the star of our family," he said. "I would never have been able to do anything without her support."
Axner also recognized the board of education and district staff for their help over the years.
"The teachers are incredible," Axner said.
"They bought into my leadership when they didn't know what's what," he said.
"The classified (staff members) have a touch of class. You can tell they really care about the kids."
Administration was also recognized and Axner said they could probably make any district succeed.
Axner started his position as associate executive director of the Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators this month.