October 25, 2014

Sullivan leaving Standish-Sterling board after more than five years

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STANDISH — After spending more than five years on the Standish-Sterling Community Schools Board of Education, board President Richard Sullivan decided not to run for another term in the November school election.

Sullivan, who owns Sullivan Exteriors in West Branch, said one of the reasons that he decided not to run for re-election was the fact his wife teaches in the Standish-Sterling district. He said that was sometimes an awkward thing for them to handle, especially during contract negotiations.

“It puts her in a tough spot,” Sullivan said. “You get comments and criticisms from people in the union to my wife.”

Standish-Sterling Community Schools Superintendent Michael Dodge said Sullivan’s term on the board runs through the end of 2010, with the new board members taking office in January 2011.

While Sullivan said being a board member was not always easy, he said he would miss the opportunity to make the best possible decisions for the district’s children.

“I always put what’s best for kids in my mind,” he said.

Sullivan also said he enjoyed the Standish-Sterling commencement exercises each year, because he sees firsthand how students have benefited from decisions made by the board. He said he also enjoyed considering both sides of every issue.

“It was a great learning experience,” he said. “I learned a lot about people. You learned a lot about your community.”

Dodge said Sullivan’s contributions to the board would be missed, but understood that Sullivan wanted to spend more time with his family.

“Good board members are hard to find,” he said.

Dodge said Sullivan is involved with youth basketball and baseball programs in the Standish-Sterling district, and attends plenty of school functions. In addition, Dodge said Sullivan graduated from the Standish-Sterling district.

“He’s a very level-headed, very kind person,” Dodge said of Sullivan. “He listens to what people say. He’s a very passionate, caring person.”

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