A longtime leader of the Westerville City School District is being remembered for his efforts to improve education in the district and to inform decisions at the state level as well.

The school district released information Feb. 22 stating it joined in mourning the death of George E. Tombaugh, 76, who served as the district’s superintendent from 2000-07.

Tombaugh was in hospice care, surrounded by his family and loved ones, when he died Feb. 20, according to the release.

Superintendent John Kellogg said Tombaugh’s lifelong dedication to education had a positive impact not just on the local community, but also on the educational landscape of the state.

“While he remained focused on improving the educational experience for children here in our Westerville-area community, he also remained steadfast in his efforts to lobby and inform critical decisions being made by our state's elected officials,” Kellogg said. “Legislators valued his insight and sought his counsel as they developed legislation pertaining to funding for limited English-proficient students, Homestead Exemption expansion, state report card ratings, value-added standards and STEM education.”

Prior to becoming Westerville’s superintendent Sept. 1, 2000, Tombaugh served as the education adviser to former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, and as superintendent of Springfield Local Schools in Lucas County for 20 years.

He is survived by his wife, Carol (Nicklas) Tombaugh; five children; and eight grandchildren.

Visitation is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at Schoedinger Funeral Northeast Chapel, 1051 E. Johnstown Road in Gahanna, according to his obituary. A funeral service open to all will be held 10 a.m. Feb. 26 at the same location, according to the obituary

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Tombaugh’s memory to the Westerville Education Foundation.

Donations can be made by mailing or delivering a check, payable to Westerville Education Foundation, to the WCSD Early Learning Center, 936 Eastwind Drive in Westerville (write “Tombaugh Fund” in the check’s note space). Donations also may be made by clicking the “Dr. George Tombaugh Fund” link on the foundation’s website, westervilleeducationfoundation.com.