Bath School Board Member Eddie Ryder Steps Down After Twenty Years Of Service
Warm Springs, VA – At the end of the month, Eddie Ryder finishes up twenty years of being a member of the Bath County School Board. Ryder holds the record for length of service on the School Board and he has only missed one meeting in twenty years.
At the Bath School Board meeting last week, the Board adopted a resolution recognizing Ryder’s service. Bath will have a completely new School Board in January and when asked what he would like to share with new Board members, Ryder offered some advice.
“One of the things I think that any Board member needs to do is they need to do their own research,” says Ryder. “They need to look at the issues, look at both sides of the issue and then put together what you think is right. And then you sit down as a Board and you discuss it. And if you feel strongly on what your issue is, then you try to convince the other board members that this is the right thing to do.”
“You know, your goal is what you’re doing for children and that’s what you’ve got to be concerned about. So those issues that you’re dealing with, you’ve got to look at the issue and say Is this good for kids?’ And if it is and you’ve made that decision, then go with it. But if you don’t know, then go back and do your research again, because you haven’t made a good decision.”
Ryder was also active in the Virginia School Boards Association, or VSBA, where he served as President and a member of various committees. He participated in the VSBA Academy and earned the Award of Distinction for his commitment to effective school board governance. And Ryder never missed a VSBA meeting.
On the Bath School Board, Ryder was the Cedar Creek District representative and he served on a number of committees including the Special Education Advisory Committee, the Career and Technical Education Committee and the Jackson River Governor’s School Board.
“All the years I’ve been here, the Board’s have changed and they have Board members coming on with different issues and a lot of times it’s not for kids, it’s for maybe the budget or maybe some issue with an employee or something like that,” says Ryder. “I think the thing that I’ve learned the most is that people will always have a difference when they come to these Boards to work and you’ve got to sit down and look at what you’re here for. And I think that what I’ve seen over the years and what I’ve learned is that most every Board member that has come here, after they’re here for awhile they see that and they see what they’re here for. And then they start working as Board members and as a Board and as a team.”
There are not enough ways to say thank you to Eddie Ryder for his dedication and work for Bath County schools and for education in Virginia.