After 28 years of service on the Groveport Madison Board of Education, Mary Tedrow did not seek reelection in November.
"Mary has been a tremendous advocate for the children of our district," Groveport Madison Superintendent Garilee Ogden said. "She's been so forwarding-thinking in the needs of both students and staff. We're going to miss everything she's brought to the district."
Tedrow, who has been an active member of the Groveport Madison community for close to 50 years, is a longtime volunteer with area Girl Scouts and district middle schools. She also has been active in social-justice organization BREAD (Building Responsibility Equality and Dignity). She was named the 2015 Central Region Outstanding Board Member by the Ohio School Boards Association and was recognized with the group's most prestigious commendation, the Al-Ohio School Board Award.
"I am grateful to the Groveport Madison voters who have voted to financially support our children's education, and I am grateful to the district voters who elected me to serve as a school-board leader for seven four-year terms," Tedrow said. "I strongly believe education has an enormous impact on our ability to achieve what we want and to be good citizens."
During her seven terms on the board, Tedrow worked with seven superintendents, seven treasurers and 20 school board members, according to what she said in her speech on Dec. 13, 2019.
One of the ways she plans to spend her retirement is by continuing her volunteer work with first-graders at Glending Elementary School.
"They're great to work with," Tedrow said. "It's such a good age."
Tedrow said she was proud of the accomplishments of the board.
"What first comes to mind is the high school bond issue. Passing that allowed us to build a new school."
The new Groveport Madison High School opened for the start of the 2018-19 school year and was the district's first new school building in nearly 50 years.
The bond issue was approved in 2014.
"All of the operating levies we've passed have been important to me too," Tedrow said. "The same goes for the one that we just had."
Tedrow also remembered some of her favorite times at school activities.
"I also enjoyed going to the games, softball, basketball, I liked them all," she said. "I loved all the plays, the musicals and band performances, too."
Ahead of her final board meeting Dec 13, the district held a farewell party for her, when many gathered to share well-wishes and memories of Tedrow.
Current board member Nancy Gillespie said Tedrow brought a great deal to the board.
"People will miss her district history, first of all," Gillespie said. "She's been around for longer than a lot of the district leadership. It's important to have someone who can connect what happened in the past to the present."
Gillespie said her connection with Tedrow also existed on a personal level.
"She was a mentor for me when I came on the board," Gillespie said.
"I came with specific ideas and she kind of helped me think bigger, but she also showed me what the board should be doing as far as general care of the district."