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After almost two decades on the Washington Local School board of education, two men said goodbye at their last meeting Wednesday – but not before the community said their goodbyes and thank yous.
At times, the meeting was emotional.
"I don't want to get all mushy, but I consider you a father figure to me, and if I can be half the man that you are, then I will have accomplished a great deal," said Washington Superintendent Patrick Hickey.
Other moments were comical.
"Yes, I had my chances to move, teach and coach elsewhere, but I'll say one thing: I didn't have the power to do it because my wife said no," joked Frank Erme, one of the board members leaving.
The other was John Adler. One by one, the people in attendance thanked the men.
All eight of Adler's children graduated from Whitmer, and they don't call Erme "Mr. Whitmer" for nothing. He's been with the district since 1952, when he started as a teacher at just 22.
After 16 years with the board, retirement is on the horizon for both. But they say they won't be strangers.
"I'll be around and help whenever I can," Erme said.
"Well based on my age, I'm probably going to take it easy," Adler joked. "No, I want to finish some projects we have going."