Two Bethlehem board members decide not to run again

Stuart Lyman, D.V.M., current president of the Bethlehem Central school board and Richard Svenson, a past president of the board, will not be running for re-election in May when their term runs out. Both veteran board members made their announcement at this week's meeting of the school board.

For me, it was an evolution of 13 years, and serving on the school board is very dynamic, very exciting and stressful, said Lyman. "I came to the point, it was the appropriate time for me."

Lyman has been a member of the Bethlehem board of education since 1994, serving 13 years. Svenson returned to the board in July 2001 after serving a three-year term from 1997 to 2000. Svenson has spent nine years on the board of education. Svenson and Lyman decided to announce their decision jointly at the last school board meeting on Wednesday, March 21, when they both came to the realization they each had made the same decision to not run.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve this community," said Svenson. "It's been a lot of work and has had its ups and downs, but I like being involved in the community. I think people should consider community service."

The time it takes to fulfill the duties of serving on the board is greater than ever before, and Svenson calculated that a school board member serves at least 300 hours annually. One of the biggest accomplishments under Lyman and Svenson's direction was the hiring of Gregg Nolte as director of operations and management to handle the multi-year $100 million school construction project in the district.

"It was a big push of mine to have an engineer in charge," Svenson said. "It has worked quite effectively."

Lynne Lenhardt, another long-time member of the board, said Svenson and Lyman lifted the collective level of the board and its many accomplishments.

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