Neshaminy School Board Member Ritchie Webb Resigns
The man who lead the Neshaminy School Board through a five-year teacher impasse that made national headlines and was recently called the “Worst Person in the Sports World” by an ESPN2 host announced Monday night he is stepping down from his post effective December 31.
Webb, a resident of Middletown’s Levittown section, made the announcement during the annual school board reorganization meeting. The announcement came as a shock to many in the audience.
Webb said he decided to “call it quits” because he wanted to have a bit more free time with his wife and family. He added that he has a shore house he plans to work on and a boat he wants to use more. His decision to resign puts him off the board before the next round of contract talks with Neshaminy teachers.
The 59-year-old former school board leader was elected to the board in 2003 and named president in December 2008. Webb recently told LevittownNow.com he did not plan to run for reelection when his term is up.
Webb was among the team that negotiated the latest contract between the district and the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers. The contract came after a five-year battle that lead to multiple teacher strikes and plenty of drama. He also helped forge a new contract for support staff.
During Webb’s tenure, the district hired Dr. Robert Copeland last year as the new superintendent of the district. Copeland has received mainly positive reviews from residents at school board meetings.
Most recently, Webb was named among the “Worst Persons in the Sports World” by ESPN2 host Keith Olbermann over the “Redskins” name issue. Webb laughed off the title and said the broadcaster “doesn’t have all the facts.”
Fellow school board members all spoke highly of the Webb during the meeting Monday night.
Board member Scott Congdon, who was named the new president of the board at the meeting, appeared in shock at the news. “Rich, you’ve been a rock,” he said.
During public comment, former school board member William O’Connor said Webb always wanted to do what was right for the school district.
Langhorne resident Larry Pastor said Webb’s decisions and leadership “centered around children and the community.”
Webb’s wife sat in the audience and smiled as the praise poured in for 59-year-old, who the school board will have to replace with a Levittown resident by the end of January.
Many board members said they hope to still refer to Webb for advice in the future.
Look to LevittownNow.com for a full recap of the school board reorganization Tuesday morning.