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South Colonie loses school board member

ce on the South Colonie Central School District Board of Education, Vernon Fonda has resigned from the board.

Fonda's resignation, which comes mid-term, is due to personal responsibilities he said needed to come before his position as board member. But his 14 years of service were marked by achievements and, at times, tough decisions, he said.

Fonda said that before joining the board, he never really had any appreciation for what a board member does.

You have to be extremely committed to it, he said.

As Fonda explained, when running in an election for a school board seat, one runs to be on the board and not for a specific position. Fonda first ran in 1993 and described the election as "a very heated atmosphere."

Fonda recalled a school board atmosphere in which many members of the community wanted to be on the board to help build the decisions that would shape the school district.

"Looking back on that particular episode in my board career, that was quite an experience," he said. "I think probably over 3,000 people voted in that election."

When he first got elected, Fonda said he had a plan: to serve two five-year terms on the board -- long enough to be able to sit on the stage as both of his children graduated.

His daughter was a senior at Colonie Central High School the year he got elected.

But Fonda's plan did not go exactly the way he had expected.

"That was my plan " to do two terms. But the end of my second term was around the time [Superintendent of Schools] Tom Brown was retiring, so I stayed on to be a part of my search process," Fonda said.

Fonda described the search for Brown's replacement as one of the most difficult challenges he had to face on the board.

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