In the style of a roast, School Administrative District 28 and Five Town Community School District Assistant Superintendent Michael Weatherwax was shrouded June 13 with both comedic stories and praise for his 34 years of service to the district.

A retirement party was held at the Camden-Rockport Middle School in honor of “Wax,” as he is nicknamed.

SAD 28 oversees Camden-Rockport Elementary School and Camden-Rockport Middle School. The Five Town CSD governs Camden Hills Regional High School.

The middle school cafeteria was filled with co-workers, friends and family. Banners made by students in each of the three schools decorated the walls and ceiling as a slide show showing pictures of the past and present played in the background.

Weatherwax was hired in 1977 as an English teacher at Camden-Rockport High School, where he taught until 1984, also serving as department head. He served as interim principal at the middle school until being officially named principal in 1984, a role he held for 20 years. For the last seven years, he has been the assistant superintendent.

In addition, over the years he has also served as the Title I and Chapter I coordinator, English curriculum coordinator, junior varsity softball coach, freshman basketball coach, and high school boys basketball coach.

Middle school Principal Maria Libby said Weatherwax began at the high school the year before she did.

However, she joked, “Of course I was a student and he was a teacher.”

She said Weatherwax left a legacy at the middle school as principal and said he is a hard act to follow.

“I hope to have half the impact he did in the district,” Libby said.

Camden Hills Principal Nick Ithomitis, a known non-speech writer, actually prepared a speech because he said he had so much to say.

In comedic fashion, Ithomitis outlined the various committees that were set up to figure out the appropriate gift for Weatherwax. The result, which was calculated using a complicated mathematical formula combining property values, the number of students in the district, Wax’s age and years of service to the district, and various other factors, was a check for $24.

David Ridley, retired high school biology teacher and Weatherwax’s fishing buddy, told some tales from their various fishing trips to undisclosed locations. He told a story about how Weatherwax locked his keys in his Subaru in the northern Maine woods and smashed out a back window with a rock. As a result, he presented Weatherwax with a boulder, complete with a bow.

David Cook, retired high school physical education teacher and athletic director, spoke of Weatherwax’s background, from his youth growing up in various states as his father served as a college professor to his undergraduate years in Michigan, to beginning his teaching career in Oregon.

Tori Manzi, chairman of the SAD 28 board, presented Weatherwax with a basket of flowers from the board, students and staff.

Superintendent Wayne Dorr paced the room looking at various pictures of Weatherwax fishing, traveling and relaxing and joked he was searching for a picture of him actually working, generating considerable laughter from the crowd.

He told a tale of the day Weatherwax announced his retirement. Dorr, who also is retiring at the year’s end after one year with the district, said he came into the office and Weatherwax was looking out the window into the Camden Hills singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and that’s when Dorr wrapped his arm around Weatherwax’s shoulder and joined in. It wasn’t long, Dorr joked, before Camden-Rockport Elementary School teacher Jan Staples, who also is retiring this year, joined in on the ballad.

“It’s been a thrill for me to spend the year with him,” Dorr said. “I’m going to miss him an awful lot.”

Weatherwax, who tried with all his might to sail off into the sunset without much attention, thanked everyone for coming. He said, taking a quote from high school graduation speaker and author Richard Russo, that he always tried to be kind as an educator and hopes he is remembered for that.

“Education is a people business and that kindness is what marks you as an educator,” he said.

As far as a plan for retirement. “I do not have one,” Weatherwax said. Other than a little fishing.