After more than 40 years serving on boards of education in Delaware County, Edward Bischoff decided earlier this year it was time to retire.
Bischoff said he got involved in local schools in 1978 after he helped a friend win an election to the Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education and ran the following term at her behest.
“Back then, Olentangy had about 1,400 students,” Bischoff said Wednesday. “It was still a rural school. We still had an agricultural program.”
Bischoff served on the Olentangy board for 12 years before joining for the Delaware County School Board, a precursor to the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio, in 1990.
“I didn’t know much about the county board, I just knew that it was a hold over from an older time when the county ran the (local schools,)” Bischoff said.
Bischoff said in the 1990s, the Union County School Board wanted to merge with the Delaware County School Board, and he volunteered to resign because both boards needed to lose two members.
“The next cycle I ran again and got back on it,” he said. “Ever since then I’ve been on it constantly.”
Bischoff said the Delaware County School Board later merged with the Franklin County School Board and became the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio.
“They had programs we needed, and we had programs they needed, so it turned out to be a good match,” he said.
Bischoff added the ESC has changed quite a bit over the years, but he’s proud of its growth and expansion.
“The ESC today is much much different than the county school board was when I first got back on,” Bischoff said. “(It’s) more of a business than education, but its business is improving the education of the schools that it serves. The superintendent we’ve got, Tom Goodney, is doing a great job. It has become one of the premier education service centers in Ohio. It’s in good shape.”
Bischoff served on the Delaware Area Career Center Board of Education from 1994 until recently, and he was always impressed by the students and staff at the school.
“I enjoyed working with the programs,” Bischoff said. “These kids and the teachers … they do a great job, it’s amazing. I couldn’t have asked for better jobs. The career center is just amazing, what it does with the kids. They would come in and tell us what they’re doing, and we’d sit there in awe. It never ceased to amaze me.
Bischoff said he’s proud to have helped bring both DACC campuses together into the consolidated campus.
“Mary Beth Freeman got the new school built,” he said. “She made the career center what it is today. It is really a great school. That’s the highlight (for me).”
Bischoff said he resigned from the ESC board and the DACC board earlier this year ahead of his term expiring after deciding not to seek reelection.
“In the middle of this next term, I would be 90 years old, and I decided that no one who is 90 years old should be on a school board,” Bischoff said. “This is the only elected office I’d run for. I never felt like I was tired of doing it. I just knew that going through for another four years wouldn’t be good.”
At the Aug. 19 DACC board meeting, Bischoff’s replacement, Holly Hanson, was sworn in as the newest board member. The school reported that Hanson had been involved in DACC activies in the past, including hosting summer camps for middle school students.
Bischoff said he’s currently spending his retirement writing a book.
“Hopefully, that’ll keep me out of trouble for awhile,” he said.