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School board members share thoughts

As the Mars Area School Board reorganizes in December, we — three retiring school directors — want to share a few parting thoughts.

Despite the recently published bloviation, please know we agree that school board service is not, and should not be, political, per se. Yet, it is important to elect representatives who reflect your values when making important decisions that impact your children, money and future. There’s a big difference between blurted, self-serving political posturing and proven, steady principled leadership over time.

Throughout our terms, we — with different political party affiliations — have consistently demonstrated a commitment to shared guiding principles that have matched our words and actions. There is no disputing that our core values — not our politics — have been our North Star.

Working in cooperation with our talented administrative team, dedicated educators and staff, and a community that values quality public education, we are incredibly proud of our governance role in leading one of the highest-performing school districts in Western Pennsylvania. We’ve worked to keep the dollars closest to the students, strived to find responsible fiscal balance between program growth/needs and respect for the taxpayers, and continue to delight in hearing of our graduates’ success stories with Mars-strong foundations.

Sure, we’d like a mulligan or two as we reflect on our tenure. But, overall, it’s been a wonderfully rewarding ride that has yielded much personal joy and pride. It hasn’t always been easy or pleasant, though we will cherish the journey by savoring the many successes, embracing the life lessons, and celebrating the continued achievements of the Mars Area School District.

As we retire from our school board service feeling grateful for the opportunity and appreciative of the years of support, we want to express that it’s truly been an honor and privilege to represent this fine community. We sincerely thank you for your trust and wish the very best to the newly seated school board.


Rita Dorsch

(Mars teacher: 36 years, 8/1973 to 6/2009; School director: 12 years, 12/2009 to 12/2021)

Dayle Ferguson

(16 years, 12/2005 to 12/2021)

Gordon Marburger

(16 years, 12/2005 to 12/2021)