Whenever I approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am always reminded just how thankful we all should be to be part of this community and school district.

Whenever I approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am always reminded just how thankful we all should be to be part of this community and school district.

This year will be my last Thanksgiving as superintendent of schools, so allow me to say a special thanks to the community.

My 15 years as superintendent and my 40 years total in the district have gone seemingly too fast … my, my, that means 40 Thanksgivings have also passed! It has been fun and definitely rewarding.

I will look back with much pride and fond memories for all we have accomplished together. Marysville is a truly a good place to live, a good place for families and a good place for education.

I was reminded of what a great place this is when I was co-emcee of the Singsation's fall concert a couple of weeks ago. Scott Underwood, my co-emcee, spent much of his time playing practical jokes on me and making fun of my age because he was still a high school student when I first arrived in Marysville. Many in the concert choir were former students or are parents of students. The audience was also full of familiar faces of my years here in Marysville. It was indeed a fun time over the two nights of performances.

I survived Scott's jokes and everyone had a good time as Dee Winters, the former high school and middle school choir director, directed her community choir at Veterans Auditorium - the very auditorium where I made my first talk 40 years ago to parents and students following the eighth-grade football season.

As a first-year teacher and coach, I remember being so nervous that I could hardly get all the words out. But that group of kids and parents made me feel very welcome as they politely allowed me to stumble along. Little did I know that so many more caring kids and parents would make my years here ever so rewarding. I give thanks to all of them.

The value of our small town and community struck me again as I accepted an award on behalf of Marysville schools last week in Columbus. The district was recognized as the top district in the state for its support of drug/alcohol prevention and intervention activities. That award came as a result of community support and the recognition that together, we can solve what has become a horrible social issue for our kids.

I am very proud of what the district has done, but I am equally proud and thankful because the award truly reflects a community that cares.

Marysville has a spirit of the "small town" that is quite evident and it is something that needs to be bottled and preserved as we move forward. Let's not allow it to be lost.

This is a place that supports kids and the activities of youth. We support and help our neighbors. Oh, sure, sometimes we all dwell on the negative and don't mention the positives often enough. But let's all remember in the Marysville community we are surrounded by positives - kids, parents, neighbors, friends and district staff all working together in a community of tremendous quality. It needs repeating.
Thank you, Marysville, for being a great community and for making kids and their learning a priority. And a very special thanks this holiday for allowing me to humbly serve for 40 Thanksgivings and school years in Marysville.

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Larry Zimmerman is retiring as superintendent of the Marysville Exempted Village school district.