Thomas Maher, a longtime member of the Nazareth Area School Board, died suddenly Wednesday morning.
Maher, 61, a certified public accountant who lived in Upper Nazareth Township, served as board treasurer. He was an outspoken advocate for fiscal discipline, often casting the lone dissenting vote on budgetary and spending issues.
In the Nov. 8 election, Maher was re-elected without contest to another four-year term on the board representing the district's Region 2. He was first elected to the board in 1999 and took office in December of that year.
District Superintendent Victor Lesky announced Maher's death in an e-mail Wednesday morning.
“I regret to inform the staff that Board member Thomas Maher passed away suddenly this morning,” Lesky wrote. “Please keep his wife, Deb (our Pupil Services Director Secretary) and their sons, Tom, Dan and Jim in your thoughts and prayers.”
Maher left a strong favorable impression on incoming school board member Chris Miller, who will join the board at the next meeting on Monday.
Miller described Maher as “a good man who was doing a remarkable job.”
“He and I talked a lot,” Miller said. “I learned a lot from him. Our concern was to provide a good education for the kids in financially responsible fashion. ... I'm going to miss him.”
Lesky issued the following statement:
“Mr. Maher took his duties as a Board member very seriously. Tom felt an obligation to keep himself informed and up to date on all district activities. Tom's decisions were always based on the best interests of our students while maintaining the district's fiscal integrity. Mr. Maher's 12 years on the Board has made me a better Superintendent of Schools.”
The board will appoint a replacement for Maher within the next 30 days, per state law.
Funeral services and arrangements have not been finalized, according to Lesky's e-mail.