Tuesday night's Washington County Board of Education meeting ended with applause and a standing ovation for outgoing Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan.
Morgan is retiring from the school system Feb. 28 to take a job as executive director of America's Promise Alliance's dropout prevention initiative. Tuesday's meeting at the Central Office off Commonwealth Avenue was her last public board meeting.
Board members took turns expressing their gratitude and/or wishing Morgan luck with her new job before she took her turn thanking students, business leaders, school system employees, board members she's worked with during her decadelong tenure and her assistant, Nancy Hull.
Morgan thanked everyone who helped her achieve her vision.
"My vision was to impact children and make a difference in their lives," Morgan said.
Kathleen O'Connell, assistant director for the Washington County Free Library, presented Morgan with a going away gift from the library. It was a READ poster featuring a picture of Morgan.
"The lives of our children, our families, our community, are better because Elizabeth Morgan came our way," said O'Connell, reading from a note from library Director Mary Baykan.
North Hagerstown High student Ethan Robison and student board member Steven Wang thanked Morgan on behalf of all school system students.
"Washington County has come through a transformation under your leadership," Wang said. He said his parents would not have put him in the school system without the improvements made in the past decade.
"My children have had opportunities and experiences in this county that they would not have had if they had been students here before she came here," board member Justin Hartings said.
"Dr. Morgan, when Washington County or the state of Maryland builds their Mount Rushmore over on South Mountain, I think your face ought to appear on that mountain," board member Paul Bailey said.