Stafford School Board Bids Farewell to Four-Term Member Rich Czajkowski

By David Biggy | Dec 18, 2019

Stafford Township — Once the new year arrives, Rich Czajkowski can start planning his vacations without the need to do so around school board meetings. The Stafford Township Board of Education meeting of Dec. 12 was his last, as he concludes a second six-year stint with the board.

“Through 24 years of being involved with Stafford, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people, and every day I considered it an honor and a privilege to be part of this district,” Czajkowski said as he was recognized by board members and Superintendent George Chidiac prior to board business. “I’ll miss it.”

Moments afters student and staff recognition, Chidiac gave a brief statement about the outgoing board vice president and read from the proclamation being presented to him as a parting gift.

“Rich has been with us for a long time, and he’s had tremendous expertise in finance and buildings and grounds,” he said. “He has been a big asset to the district.”

Board President Walter Jauch also thanked Czajkowski for his service, noting his advocacy for taxpayers, teachers and students, and said he will be missed by the board. Board member Patricia Formica briefly spoke about Czajkowski as well, referring to him as “my personal mentor.”

“I jumped in with negotiations when I got here, and he really helped me with that,” Formica said. “He is such a fair person, who considers everything and always thinks before he speaks. Thank you for all your time and thanks to your wife for giving up her husband to us and the district.”

Czajkowski – whose latest six-year stint, comprised of two terms, began in 2013 – first served two terms on the board, including two years as president, from 1995 to 2001, when he was instrumental in the building of Ocean Acres Elementary School. After his first two terms, Czajkowski took on a role as the district’s purchasing supervisor in 2001 and remained in that position for 12 years.

“It’s interesting because I served two terms during the 20th century and two terms during the 21st century,” he mused. “I’ve had a lot of accomplishments I’m pretty proud of. I saved this district a lot of money, and I enjoyed volunteering and giving back to my community.”

Besides the construction of the Ocean Acres School, Czajkowski played a major role in the development of several technological advances and energy-saving initiatives within the district, as well as the building upgrades and improvements that were part of the most recent referendum projects.

Not surprisingly, Czajkowski gave some simple advice for anybody within the community thinking about possibly running for a school board seat someday.

“Come to the meeting and be prepared,” he said. “It’s very rewarding, but you have to take it seriously because it’s a serious job, with responsibilities to the students and the taxpayers. And you have to be creative. It helps to be able to bring new ideas to make the district better. I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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