“I think there are four P’s to being a good board member. There’s presence, passion, personal integrity and perseverance. You need to agree to serve, be all-in, remember who you are and why you’re doing this and never give up.”
Dr. Pablo Perez and Dr. Rick Fromm were honored with a reception on Monday ,December 9 in recognition of their years of service to the Dalton Board of Education. Dr. Perez served on the school board from 2016 to 2019, and Dr. Fromm is retiring after 16 years of board service and four years as board chair.
Board Chairman Matt Evans expressed his appreciation for their years of service and presented each of them with a plaque and a Dalton Difference coin.
Perez, Evans said, has consistently been a champion for the students at Dalton Public Schools during his tenure as a board member.
"Dr. Perez is a man of conviction, compassion and he couples those things to be a champion for kids and for students," Evans said. "At every meeting we've been to, he's been a champion for those convictions and for students."
Evans also took a moment to reflect on Perez's historic election to the board, as the first Hispanic ever elected to any public office in Whitfield County.
"We appreciate your heart and compassion for advocating for kids," Evans said. "I know you'll continue to be a champion for public education and for students."
Perez said he was thankful to the board and to the community for their patience and support over the years. He said he was always inspired by education, as his mother was a teacher who moved his family to the United States to pursue better education.
"I think education is the instrument that brought me to the United States, and what broke down barriers and opened a lot of doors for me," Perez said. "I have had the opportunity to live in a community where the majority of the kids are Hispanic, and I think I brought a different perspective to the board."
Perez also said he knows Dalton Public Schools is in a good place and will be in good hands moving forward. Although his time on the board has ended, he said he will continue to support Dalton Public Schools and public education.
"I am part of this community as are every one of you," Perez said. "I'm very proud to be a first-generation immigrant and bring a little bit of that contribution to the board and I will always be available if you need any support in any way you feel I contribute; I will be available."
In presenting the recognition for Dr. Fromm, Evans emphasized Fromm's legacy of integrity and leadership over his 16 years of service.
"As a little boy, I looked up to Dr. Fromm, or to Rick at that time," Evans said. "Now after serving with Rick, I have more reasons to look up to him, because of his integrity. He's a thought leader for the cause of public education, and he understands issues at a very deep level."
Evans highlighted some of the achievements that were accomplished under Fromm's leadership including the passing of the general obligation bond, the restructuring of secondary education and the creation of the district's strategic plan.
"There's a debt of gratitude we owe anybody who would serve in this capacity for 16 years, representing kids, representing Dalton, representing Dalton Public Schools and becoming my personal friend, and an advocate for young people and this great thing we call public education," Evans said.
Fromm said his 16-year tenure on the board was full of ups and downs, but he thoroughly enjoyed the journey working in the district.
"I'm very proud to have been a part of a special organization such as Dalton Public Schools," Fromm said. "There's something very unique about our culture. I think you have to look at administration and I think what you'll see is a very committed group of professionals going beyond the call of duty and look to do what's best for students in all capacities."
Looking back on his time on the board, Fromm said he's satisfied with the work that was accomplished. He lists his biggest contribution was his ability to recognize the things he didn't know, find people who did know those things, and then do his best to support those people.
"I think there are four P's to being a good board member," Fromm said. "There's presence, passion, personal integrity and perseverance. You need to agree to serve, be all-in, remember who you are and why you're doing this and never give up."
Like Perez, Fromm said although his time on the board is through, he isn't through working to support Dalton Public Schools.
"I will miss working with you, but I'll not be gone completely," Fromm said. "I'm only quitting this job; I'm not quitting Dalton Public Schools. I'll continue to support you and the mission of Dalton Public Schools, I'm excited about our vision. God bless you all, and I'll be praying for your continued success."