Editor’s note: Dave Ksanznak spent the last 16 years as the principal for Hamagrael Elementary school in Delmar. In those years, parents and students often found him at the front door greeting everyone by name. His energetic spirit helped put a positive charge into each day.
Last week was Mr. K’s last as the school’s educator. He had announced his retirement prior to the start of the school year. On Wednesday, June 23, parents and teachers turned the tables on Ksanznak. With the help of his wife Colleen, they orchestrated a surprise parade in front of his Delmar home. A precession that would last more than 40 minutes. The following is an email Ksanznak sent to district family members, thanking them for the outpouring of gratitude he had received.
I am not sure know where to begin or how I can ever thank you all for making last night such a special one for me and my family. I was at a retirement party for a colleague when my wife Colleen called and told me that I was supposed to be home by 5:30 to help plant a tree with some parents of students who were in 5th grade last year. So, I did as I was told and made sure to get home! What happened next was something that I will never forget and showed why Hamagrael is such an amazing school community.
The time and planning that went into this must have been incredible. The decorations, posters, playing Springsteen music you thought of it all! Even more amazing was that the kids kept quiet about all of it. I am always around the building, at recess, in the classrooms and I didn’t hear one word about it. The kids really pulled one over on me.
The quilt of the the former yearbook covers and 5th grade graduating classes and the “Letters to You” really were the icing on the cake and my wife, Colleen, and I were just in awe of everything this community has done for us and for making last night one that brought both laughs and plenty of tears.
I have truly been blessed to work in such a supportive school community . I also heard how hard everyone worked to track down “The Boss” Bruce Springsteen to do something for me during my last year. Just knowing how much time you spent emailing and calling his representatives is good enough for me!!
Thanks again for an evening that I will never forget
— Dave K