The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school community is deeply saddened and is mourning the loss of a champion of education this week. Former Board of Education member Robert S. Speck passed away on August 6 with his family at his side.
The man everyone knew as "Bob" was 87 and had been elected to 12 consecutive three-year terms on the BH-BL Board of Education from 1974 to 2010. Although no group tracks service records for Board of Education members in New York's 700-plus school districts, the district believes that Bob's 36 years made him one of longest serving school board members ever in state history.
No more dedicated volunteer for children's education and educational governance existed than Bob.
In addition to his service within the local community, Bob also served as president of the Capital Region BOCES Board of Directors and as a member of the New York State School Boards Association Board of Directors. A detailed list of Bob's accomplishments and history of service can be found in our 2010 new story honoring his retirement from the Board of Education.
A memorial service has been scheduled at the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church, 816 Route 50, Burnt Hills, at 10:30 am on Saturday, August 10. There will be no wake or calling hours. Instead, his family invites those who wish to pay their respects to join them at a reception in the O'Rourke Middle School immediately following the memorial service.
Due to the size of the expected crowd, the BH-BL Board of Education has offered the use of the "Robert S. Speck Library Media Center" at the front of the O'Rourke Middle School for the reception. The family has taken them up on this offer, and the reception will be held in "Bob's" library from 12 noon to 3:00 pm.
Attendees are asked to enter the library directly from the middle school parking lot using the sidewalk at the front of the building. The school is located at 173 Lakehill Road only a few blocks from the Methodist Church.
In 2005 the BH-BL Board of Education surprised Bob by naming the O'Rourke Middle School library media center after him.
The family suggest that anyone wishing to make a gift in Bob's name send a donation either to the Burnt Hills United Methodist Church (at the address above) or to the "Robert S. Speck Scholarship Fund."
Checks for the scholarship fund should be made out to the "BH-BL Central School District" and sent to the BH-BL High School, 88 Lakehill Rd., Burnt Hills, NY 12027. Please indicate "Robert S. Speck Scholarship Fund" in the memo line of your check.
Those who cannot attend Saturday's events are also welcome to send a card of condolence to the family at 7 Wendy Lane, Burnt Hills, NY 12027.