Sometimes considered a prankster among personnel working at the Zachary School Board’s central office, business manager Gordon Robertson is probably best known by students as the guy who wears the funny hats at district pep rallies.

On Jan. 15, true to form, Robertson donned a turtle hat while greeting well-wishers at his retirement party.

But the military veteran has a serious side, too.

Born in Natchitoches in 1946, Robertson spent 28 years in the U.S. Army, retiring at the rank of major. He spent a year in Vietnam, a year in Saudi Arabia and was awarded the Bronze Star for service and the Meritorious Service Medal.

He has lived in Baton Rouge since 1977.

For 17½ years, Robertson worked as an auditor for the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office and spent 14½ years as the business manager for the Ascension Parish School Board.

In October 2002, Robertson agreed to become the business manager for the newly formed Zachary Community School District.

“Gordon has been a major player in building this district from its inception,” Superintendent Scott Devillier said. “He is not only a great business manager but a loyal friend. We will all miss him. I wish him the best with retirement.”

School Board office employees, past and present board members, school administrators, business leaders from the Zachary community and even a few students dropped by Robertson’s celebration on Friday, sharing cake and punch.

In December, School Board members presented Robertson with a plaque, honoring him for his years with the Zachary School Board.

“It’s bittersweet. I’m looking forward to retirement but will miss everyone here,” said Robertson between posing for photographs with well-wishers. “I’m looking forward to traveling with my wife.”

Robertson’s successor is John Musso, who worked for 10 years as the chief financial officer for Volunteers of America and about 10 years as business manager for West Baton Rouge Parish Schools.