"Finding a replacement for Tom Brown was a very, very difficult decision for me," said Fonda. "Tom was a great guy. He just brought that philosophy to school that you want to do what's best for the kids and understanding what your community is capable of. Tom always had a very, very real understanding of what the students needs are and what the community's ability was to balance those needs. He set the bar pretty high."
But eventually, the board came to choose Superintendent of Schools Michael Marcelle, who retired this year. Fonda remained on the district as they chose a new Superintendent Jonathan Buhner.
"When I met with him, he had served the board for many years, and the community too," said Buhner. "He's done a lot for the South Colonie community."
Buhner said the position Fonda is leaving is one that requires an intensive time commitment, but that the district appreciates the time Fonda has given and that he will be missed.
To fill Fonda's seat, Buhner said the Board of Education is weighing their options and has not yet made a decision about whether to fill the position now, or when the term expires at the end of the year. Buhner said this will be decided by the board within the next few meetings.
But while the school board is determining the fate of Fonda's seat, Fonda is looking back on his memories as a school board member, and said he is proud of the difference he made in his time with the district.
"When you're a coach on a Little League team or a Pop Warner team, you have an impact on the 10 kids that are your team," he said. "When you're a school board member, you have the potential to have an impact on the 5,800 students that are in our district."