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Published: Thursday, 4/17/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Washington Local's Zuber submits resignation, ends 17-year run with district

BY JANET ROMAKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Steve Zuber. Steve Zuber.
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After serving for 17 years on the Washington Local Board of Education and 30 years as a firefighter, Steve Zuber has resigned from the board, saying it’s time to step away from public service.

Mr. Zuber had been re-elected to his seat in November. He submitted his resignation to the board at a special meeting Monday night, when board members discussed union negotiations and “the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or students.”

Mr. Zuber said he was “just fed up with politics” and said he had toyed with the idea of not running for re-election last year. He declined to say whether anything discussed in at the meeting — which was for the most part closed to the public — prompted his decision to resign.

“If I don’t want to do anymore, I don’t have to do anymore,” he said.

He devoted much of his time attending school activities, he said, as school board members are dedicated to their elected positions.

“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,” said Mr. Zuber, 66.

Mr. Zuber 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 Washington Local.

“I love that district. I went to high school there,” he said. “[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 W. Lincolnshire Blvd., Toledo, OH 43606.

Because of time constraints required by the Ohio Revised Code, letters of interest must be received by noon Wednesday.

Interviews will begin Monday. To expedite, letters of interest may be hand-delivered to Treasurer Jeff Fouke, emailed to Mr. Fouke at jfouke@wls4kids.org, or faxed to Mr. Fouke at 419-473-8247, according to a district spokesman.

The board has set the following special board meetings for interviewing candidates: 4 p.m. Monday; 4 p.m. Wednesday, and 4 p.m. Thursday.

A special meeting has been scheduled for 4 p.m. May 5, at which time the board expects to name a new member.

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

His blood 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 help.

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. At that time, his donation benefited a child living in Kentucky.

And when he goes on vacation, he said he will take his card to donate there.

“It can certainly be said that Mr. Zuber is a person who enjoys life and living it on his own terms,” Thomas Ilstrup, board president, wrote in a letter he read at a regular board meeting Wednesday.

“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.”

The board president’s letter was shared with staff by email on Tuesday.

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



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