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Les Loomis marks last day

Included in the audience were several of the town's most prominent politicians such as Albany County Executive Michael Breslin; state Sen. Neil Breslin; Assemblyman Tim Gordon; and Supervisor Jack Cunningham.

All came to the event toting proclamations for Loomis.

"I represent 13 different school districts, and no one knew the issues or the intricacies of funding and how do you deal with the school district better than Les," Breslin told the crowd. "And he was always on top of his game. Les knew the issues, knew how to get to the issues, knew how to interact with the Legislature and Les was the best at it."

Gordon spoke next.

"This is truly a great celebration," Gordon said. "Ten years from now, Bethlehem Central graduates who have been touched by Dr. Loomis, they themselves will have multiplied that gift in so many ways, and that's just so great."

Gordon thanked Loomis for being a trusted resource during his first term in the state Assembly and gave him a New York state proclamation from the Assembly acknowledging his years of service to the community.

"You know, maybe he'll come back and visit us," Gordon joked, "although he didn't exactly indicate that."

Cunningham thanked Loomis next for his long years of community service.

"I think we all know many of the accomplishments that Dr. Loomis has had during his tenure as superintendent," Cunningham said. "Les has worked very hard and brought many of us kicking and screaming to the polls to vote for budgets and to vote for bond issues, but they were the right thing to do for our community and the right thing to do for our students; they were investments in our future, and we have Dr. Loomis to thank for that."

Diane Reagan, new principal of Eagle Elementary, played a video montage put to music that showed pictures of a much younger Loomis with his family. Photos faded to black and white as written messages from people around the community scrolled across the screen.

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