May 5, 1929 – Jan. 24, 2013
Thomas N. Schwob, a lifelong area resident whose career as a teacher, administrator and adjunct professor spanned more than a half-century, died Jan. 24 in Wheatfield after a long illness. He was 83.
Mr. Schwob was born in Buffalo and graduated from Lafayette High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Buffalo State College, his master’s in educational administration from Syracuse University and his Ph.D. in educational administration from Oxford University.
A teacher for eight years, Mr. Schwob went on to serve as a principal in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda schools for 32 years and then as an adjunct professor at Buffalo State for 10 years. His career in took him through the Lindbergh, Sheridan Parkside and Thomas Edison schools.
He lived in the Town of Tonawanda and then Wheatfield.
His grandmothers both taught in Buffalo public schools; his parents met while teachers.
His wife of nearly 59 years, the former Joan Szczukowski, is a retired guidance counselor from Lewiston-Porter Central High School. Several of his children also have been teachers.
The highlight of Mr. Schwob’s career was his selection as the “outstanding principal of New York State” and one of 55 National Distinguished Principals. He was awarded the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation American Educators Medal.
He was named Distinguished Elementary School Principal by the School Administrators Association of New York State in 1985. The organization praised him for being “light-years ahead of the average principal” in the quality and number of innovations at his school, according to a Buffalo News article.
He retired from the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District in 1991. A former student – then-Town Supervisor Ronald H. Moline – honored Schwob by proclaiming Dec. 12, 1991, “Thomas N. Schwob Day” in the town.
Mr. Schwob received a Distinguished Citizen Award from the Town of Tonawanda, the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award from Buffalo State College and was named to the “Wall of Fame” at both Lafayette High and Buffalo State.
Mr. Schwob also served for decades in the U.S. Naval Reserve, starting as a seaman recruit in 1951. After Vietnam, Mr. Schwob voluntarily returned to active duty as an intelligence debriefer and retired as a Navy captain in 1989.
Mr. Schwob was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal as well as four Navy Commendation Medals.
Besides his wife, Mr. Schwob is survived by three sons, Thomas, William and Michael; a daughter, Karen; and a brother, William.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered in St. Christopher Catholic Church, Town of Tonawanda.