Longtime Tumwater School Board member Robert “Bob” Barclift is resigning from his elected position effective Saturday.
Barclift, 82, has served on the School Board for 23 years. His term for director of District No. 4 was set to expire in November 2017.
“The amazing history of service Bob leaves behind is something he can be very proud of and has been a generous gift to the Tumwater community,” said Superintendent John Bash. “He will be missed.”
Barclift said his time on the school board “has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
However, staying on top of educational issues, daily emails and other responsibilities have become too much, he said.
“I have finally just kind of reached the place where I found those demands to be a little exhausting,” Barclift told The Olympian on Thursday. “I’ve done it for years and I felt, ‘Well, now would be the time to step aside and let somebody from within the community step forward and serve.’”
Barclift is a former school teacher and principal who worked for the Tumwater School District for 30 years. He also worked part time in law enforcement for 17 years, including service with the Olympia Police Department. After retiring from the school district, Barclift worked in law enforcement full-time for about a decade and retired as the Lewis County Undersheriff.
He said the best part of being on the School Board is participating in high school graduation ceremonies. He estimates he’s participated in 89 high school graduations and about 1,300 school board meetings.
“You can sit there and say, ‘I’ve done everything I can to help them get the best education possible,’ ” Barclift said.
The Tumwater School District plans to honor Barclift’s service with a celebration that will be arranged at a later time, officials say.
The school board also plans to appoint a replacement for his seat, although details about that process have not yet been released.