Ted Manazir

Remembering Ted Manazir: 29 Years of Dedicated Commitment to South Burlington Schools

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Thursday November 21, 2013

When it came to the education, safety, and well-being of South Burlington’s youth, resident and longtime School Board member Ted Manazir will always be remembered for putting students first. 

Theodore “Ted” Manazir who passed away October 8, was largely known in the community for his 29 years of service as a member of the South Burlington School Board. Ted’s school board journey began in 1981 when his neighbor, a former board member, encouraged him to run. For years, Ted led the board as Chair, and he served as the Clerk many years afterward. Between May 1981 and March 2010, Ted attended over 600 South Burlington School Board meetings.

After Ted ended his final year of service on the board, he was honored at a reception at F. H Tuttle Middle School. One of many honors noted at the reception was a Concurrent Resolution  from a joint session of the Vermont State Senate and House of Representatives that recognized Ted’s work.
Bruce Chattman, retired Superintendent of Schools, fondly recalls Ted’s character and the honorable manner in which he contributed to the South Burlington School Board:

“Continuous progress as an organization was a model that Ted encouraged and supported for the South Burlington School District. He was an exemplary board member who did his research, listened effectively, and after much thought and deliberation would provide common sense and wisdom with regard to matters brought before the Board. 

Ted’s leadership and contributions to the Board included responsible planning and management of resources while consistently advocating for educational improvements. During his years on the Board he promoted foresight and fiscal responsibility. Among the initiatives he oversaw were the initial strategic planning process in 1993-94, renovation and expansion of the elementary schools, energy efficiencies, improved technology and computer acquisitions, K-12 curriculum development and alignment with state standards and policy governance. Ted also advocated for the transition to an accrual accounting system, the establishment of the South Burlington Schools Foundation and the creation of an Alumni Office as strategies to promote the fiscal well-being of the District.

Whenever a student had to appear before the Board for a disciplinary hearing, Ted was a student advocate and strived to ensure a positive outcome for the student. He was a kind man who would look for ways in which to provide the student with an opportunity to learn from the policy infraction that required the Board hearing. He would frequently include language in the Board decision that would require ultimate accountability from the student. 

Ted was also very present at school events. He attended convocations, graduations, as well as concerts, talent night, open houses, musicals and various sporting events. One of his annual commitments was to help time races at home track meets. He understood the importance of strong academics but also believed intensely in the value of the arts, music, activities and athletics. Ted took great pride in observing the accomplishments of students and understood the correlation of their successes with his commitment and efforts as a board member.

Ted’s smile, sincere greeting and easy laugh helped those around him to feel at ease and reassured. He demonstrated confidence and commitment during his service to the Board and was determined to do whatever was necessary to make the South Burlington Schools the best they could be for the students. Ted enjoyed and was justifiably proud of his contributions to the community and the school district; his tenure on the School Board was instrumental in “Building A Proud Tradition” that continues to this day.”

Before serving South Burlington, Ted lived in Massachusetts; he was born in 1934 in Boston. He graduated from Boston Latin School and Harvard University with a degree in AB-Biology. He wed Ann Janet (McKee) Manazir in Mass. in 1959, and together raised four children. His years in Boston also bred his great love of the Red Sox!

Ted completed his Masters in Education at the University of Vermont in 1973. He spent 42 years as a chemist/toxicologist with the Vermont State Department of Health. He was also a long-time member of the North Avenue Alliance Church in Burlington since 1961. There, he served as the Elder Board, Governing Board, Board of Deacons and partook in the church choir. His funeral service was held there on Wed. Oct. 16.

A man of proud Lebanese/Syrian descent, Ted cherished family-time the most. Ted is survived by his wife Ann and their children Heather M. Devenbeck and her husband, Floyd, of Temple Terrace, Fla.; Kristin A. Manazir of South Burlington; Theodore R. Manazir and his wife, Christina, of South Burlington; and Gregg A. Manazir and his wife, Heather, of Fleming Island, Fla.. He also is survived by his grandchildren, Lindsay, Melissa, Andrew, and Natalie Devenbeck, and Theodore C. and Arianna Manazir.

Memorial contributions may be made in Ted’s name to North Avenue Alliance Church, 901 North Ave., Burlington, VT 05408 or to the Theodore Manazir Scholarship Fund and mailed to South Burlington High School, 550 Dorset Street, South Burlington, VT 05403 Attn: Alumni Office.