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Palmerton says goodbye to 2 board members

Palmerton Area School District bid adieu to two stalwart members of its board of education on Tuesday night. Tammy Recker and Audrey Larvey, both described as dedicated individuals who have left an indelible mark on the district, opted not to run for re-election in 2023.

In a brief but poignant address, Recker emphasized her deep connection to the town, having never moved but one street over in 50 years.

“When I say that I love this town, I’m not kidding,” Recker said. “There’s no place like home. This board is great. We do not always see eye to eye, but we do the best we can. We try to work things through. My job, as I saw it, was to try to listen to all and try to make some sort of sense out of it.”

Recker, a 12-year veteran on the board who most recently served as its president, received accolades for her enduring commitment.

Having started her second term as board president during the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, Recker demonstrated leadership characterized by commitment, listening, and learning, according to Superintendent Dr. Jodi Frankelli.

“I think that I can speak for everyone in saying thank you for embracing this challenge rather than running away even during the best of times,” Frankelli said of Recker. “Being the board president is a challenging job to do it right. You really need to be willing to commit yourself to the three L’s; leading, listening and learning.”

Recker’s dedication was not confined to her role as board president, her colleagues said. She continued to learn and grow, representing the district at various levels and serving as a comprehensive planning committee representative.

The ceremony honored Recker with a plaque, recognizing her 12 years of service.

“Looking back, I can say that if you’re trying to find the negatives in things, you’re going to find them but you’re missing out on a heck of a lot of good,” Recker said. “And this district, to me, is all good.”

Larvey, who served four years on the board, was also recognized Tuesday for her commitment, particularly during the tumultuous times of the COVID-19 pandemic. She joined the board in December 2019 and immediately faced the formidable task of hiring a superintendent.

“Audrey always stood her ground and stayed true to what she believed in even if she wasn’t always the majority voice on the board,” Frankelli said. “She was respectful of the board’s voting process and respected the decisions it made. She was always level headed and analytical.”

Larvey’s impact, Frankelli said, extended beyond boardroom discussions, with personal meetings at her dining room table and back patio, showcasing her dedication to the district’s safety plans amid the pandemic.

“In spite of everything we faced, it was really my pleasure and privilege to serve with all of you,” Larvey told her colleagues Tuesday.

Tammy Recker receives a plaque Tuesday night commemorating her 12 years of service to the Palmerton Area School District's Board of Education. Audrey Larvey was also honored for four years of service. She was not in attendance Tuesday. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS