Long-time Batavia Local School District Board of Education member Barbara Bruner decided not to run for re-election this year and will be retiring from her duties on the board.
On Dec. 19, during the last board meeting of the year, Bruner was honored for her years of service to the board and the district.
“Thank you very much from the board,” Michael Enriquez, board president, said.
Bruner has been a member of the board for 12 years and has also served as president. She called the other board members, Enriquez, Chris Huser, Mark Ewing, and Scott Runck, the brothers she never had.
Members of the school’s Business Professionals of America organization presented Bruner with an engraved stone at the meeting, which they said will be placed under a tree planted in her honor on school property.
“Many people spend their lives helping others,” David Pelphrey, a senior member of the organization, said. “You’ve been a part of our lives since we were young.”
Pelphrey and other members of the organization thanked Bruner for her service to students. In addition, Bruner was presented with a hand-made quilt from Martha Enriquez, director of Safe Communities and community member, remembering some of her moments at Batavia schools. Board members also presented her with a memento.
“I just want to thank everyone for the support and kindness,” Bruner said after she was honored. “The last 12 years I have met and called so many of you a friend, now I have more of an opportunity to be a friend.”
Bruner said she wanted to go out while she was ahead as a board member and did not want to wait until people wanted her to leave the position.
“I don’t see you as retiring,” Michael Enriquez said. “I see you working with the community in a different way.”
Karen Royer will be taking Bruner’s place on the board and Enriquez said they look forward to working with her in the near future.
Royer is currently the CFO at Warren County Career Center and has been actively involved with Batavia Local School District for several years.
“I am very excited,” Royer said about becoming a board member. “My first agenda is to meet every employee in the district. From there we’re going to tackle the building overcrowding.”
Bruner wished Royer luck as incoming board member and told her she would have to look after “the boys,” since she will also be the only female member of the board.
“This district is blessed with so many great people,” Bruner said. “Karen, you’re going to be great. I hand-picked you myself.”