Zuber resigns from Washington school board

Steve Zuber
Steve Zuber

After serving for 17 years on the Washington Board of Education, plus 30 years as a firefighter, Steve Zuber has resigned from the board, saying it is time to step away from public service.

"There comes a time in a person's life when you have got to do for yourself," he said, and doing for himself means, for instance, going on vacation, such as to California, Arizona, and Florida where he has friends who are retired and enjoying life. "I want to plan some vacations. I am not getting any younger." He is 66 years old.

He devoted much time attending school activities, as do other school board members because they are dedicated to their elected positions, he said.

Mr. Zuber of Toledo remains committed to pay-it-forward activities, such as giving blood. Since the 1980s, he has donated 532 times, roughly 66 gallons, of blood to the American Red Cross. 

He won't just walk away from the Washington Schools. "I love that district. I went to high school there," he said, noting the district "has a special place in my heart."

The Washington Local Board of Education is seeking applicants to fill the board vacancy.

Letters of interest should be directed to the Treasurer’s Office, 3505 West Lincolnshire Blvd., Toledo, OH 43606.

Due to time constraints required by the Ohio Revised Code, letters of interest must be received by noon Wednesday next week.

Interviews will begin Monday. To expedite, letters of interest may be hand delivered to Treasurer Jeff Fouke, emailed to Mr. Fouke (jfouke@wls4kids.org), or faxed to Mr. Fouke (419-473-8247), according to details provided by district spokesman Wendy Farran.

The board has set the following special board meetings for the purpose of interviewing board candidates: 4 p.m. Monday; 4 p.m. Wednesday, 4 p.m. April 24.

A special meeting has been set for 4 p.m. May 5 for the purpose of appointing a new board member.

The board, and the administration under the leadership of Superintendent Patrick Hickey, has accomplished much, Mr. Zuber said.  

His donations began when his father had open heart surgery at a time when "they needed a lot of blood for that," and donors included about 85 firefighters and police officers. Giving blood became Mr. Zuber's way to pay back and to pay it forward. He donates platelets in honor of his father who died of cancer. Mr. Zuber has been a bone marrow donor. "I was the 248th person in the world to do a bone marrow transplant for a nonrelative," he said today. At that time, his donation benefited a child living in Kentucky.

And when he goes on vacation, he will take his card. "I can do that in Florida, give blood there."

In a letter read by Thomas Ilstrup, board president, he said "As you all may also know, Mr. Zuber has devoted his life to public service.  After a brief stint in the military, Mr. Zuber was a Toledo Fire Fighter  from 1969 until his retirement in 1999; he continues to serve on other local Boards." He noted, too, Mr. Zuber's dedication to donations to the Red Cross.

He added: "It can certainly be said that Mr. Zuber is a person who enjoys life, and living it on his own terms. He has been a good friend to me in my time on the Board, and he will be missed. I, and the entire Board, wish him all of the best in life. Please join us in extending sincere thanks to Mr. Zuber for his lifelong dedication to Washington Local Schools."

Mr. Zuber submitted his resignation to the board on Monday night. The board president's letter was shared with staff by email on Tuesday. Mr. Ilstrup read it aloud at the board's meeting Wednesday night.

Washington Schools, with enrollment of about 7,000 students, is situated in Toledo and Washington Township in Lucas County.

Contact Janet Romaker at 419-724-6006 or at jromaker@theblade.com.