The man who directed the business office, budget and payroll has retired from Jamestown Public Schools.
This was Dale Weatherlow's last week as the district's assistant superintendent for administration. Weatherlow said he worked for the Jamestown Public Schools for 20 years, mainly handling the district's finances. During his tenure, Weatherlow said he mostly enjoyed watching programs evolve that he assisted in starting.
"The people I worked with were excellent too," he said. "They were very professional. Very conscious and student-oriented."
Joe DiMaio, Jamestown Public Schools board of education president, Zach Weatherlow, Dale Weatherlow and Janet Weatherlow during a ceremony earlier this month adding Dale’s picture to the wall as one of the school district’s distinguished contributors. Weatherlow has retired from the school district as assistant superintendent for administration.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
In the second half of his career at Jamestown, Weatherlow said his main focus was the capital projects done throughout the district. He guessed that he helped with more than 50 projects in the district during that time.
"The highlight was the share quantity and size of the capital projects done over the last 10-12 years," he said.
Weatherlow said during his retirement he has several projects lined up around the house to accomplish. That includes restoring a '57 Chevy, which will be the second car Weatherlow has helped restore to go along with his '34 Ford hot rod. Even though Weatherlow will have new task to handle, he said he will miss his job as Jamestown's business manager.
"I'll miss the function of the job. I've been doing this work for going on 30 years," he said. "I guess it was time to walk away, but it will be difficult."
Weatherlow has worked closely with many school district personnel, especially with two former superintendents - Daniel Kathman and Ray Fashano. Kathman retired last year as the district's superintendent, a position he had held for five years. Kathman said even though he worked with Weatherlow for more than 20 years in different capacities, he really appreciated the business officer's knowledge during his tenure as superintendent.
"I would say my pleasure working with Dale was enhanced in my last five years as superintendent," Kathman said. "No. 1, he is the most ethical guy I have ever worked with. He was always in every way committed to doing the right thing and being a professional while managing the funds we received from the community to run the school district. He is a model of professional ethics, and I appreciate that fact most of all."
Even though Weatherlow was the business official for the school district, Kathman said he was also a great teacher.
"I had a lot to learn when I took over as superintendent, and he was a very patient and capable teacher," Kathman said. "He gave me the background to understand why things were the way they were. I think you would find agreement across all of Western New York that Dale had a particular talent or very refined ability to manage the state aid for building construction that is extraordinarily complex, and Dale dug in and understood it. He managed millions of dollars of capital aid that came to our school district while he was the business official in Jamestown."
Ray Fashano, who retired in 2008 as Jamestown's superintendent, agreed with Kathman as far as Weatherlow's ability to handle building aid. When it came to building projects, city school districts had different rules than rural school districts. Fashano said the rules were more complex because of what could count against your debt service as projects progress.
"So in Jamestown you had to have different phases," Fashano said. "His spreadsheets were concise and detailed. We all knew what was going on. He was the best at building projects."
Fashano said he worked with Weatherlow for 16 years - nine years in Jamestown and seven years in Panama. Fashano said, during his time as a school administrator, he made a lot of professional acquaintances.
"In Dale's case, we turned into really good friends," Fashano said.
Fashano said Weatherlow was the best business manager in Western New York. He said he just didn't understand the numbers behind running a school district, but also how to turn those statistics into improving educational opportunities for students.
"He had the ability to see the big picture. Meaning, business managers sometimes just deal with numbers. Dale knew how to integrate the business office, the financial piece, with the education piece. He did his best in coordinating those two pieces together," Fashano said.
Kathman added that he might not have always agreed with Weatherlow, but he still enjoyed the opportunity to work together.
"I didn't like his taste in country music, but he was a great guy to work with. He is a great family man and the Jamestown School District will surely miss him," Kathman said.