A tearful farewell for Antwan McClellan

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Antwan McCLellan Antwan McClellan

OCEAN CITY — Antwan McClellan choked back tears as he reflected on his brief service to the school board at a June 20 meeting.

“It was a tough decision,” said McClellan, who resigned from the board effective June 30 to take a seat on City Council serving the 2nd Ward. He will be sworn in as a councilman on July 1. “I’m upset I’m leaving such great people.”

McClellan was laughing as he reflected on then-board President Pete Madden telling him it was “only one meeting a month,” as he encouraged him to run for a school board seat a little over two years ago. Board service was more involved, he said, but he enjoyed it. As the reality hit that this would be his last board meeting, McClellan stopped laughing and grew more emotional.

An Ocean City native, McClellan recalled stepping through the door of the old Ocean City High School in 1989 as a student. Nervous and “scared,” he said one of the first teachers to greet him was fellow board member Lloyd Hayes. Hayes, he said, smiled and put him at ease and he would always remember that moment. A nervous freshman had a good first day because a teacher reached out.

“I appreciated it,” he said.

Board member Greg Donahue said he has known McClellan since Little League days and McClellan was a 9-year-old budding athlete.

Donahue said the big, warm smile that brightens everyone’s day goes way back.

“His smile has not changed in all those years,” he said. “Whatever the situation, whether it was Little League or school, no matter what, he never lost that smile.”

Donahue said he felt McClellan would be a stellar councilman because “he likes to work hard and keep that smile.”

McClellan said his last board meeting felt like a “graduation.”

“I really appreciate every one of you here,” he said. “I’ll still be around.”

Board President Brenda Moiso said she would miss McClellan.

“I wish you the best,” she said.

Superintendent Kathleen Taylor said she admired McClellan’s “dedication and service to the district” and greatly appreciated his efforts. McClellan, she said, made an impact.

“We gained as much from you as you did from us, and we thank you,” she said.

McClellan said he would be happy to be of assistance to the board at any time. He said he looked forward to serving on council, but would miss his colleagues on the school board.

“Thanks everybody and wish me luck,” he said.

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