Los Altos School District board member Margot Harrigan tearfully announced her resignation at the board's Monday night meeting, effective Dec. 5.
“Without a doubt, the twelve years that I have had the privilege and honor of serving the parents, children and staff of our community have been educational, challenging and, above all, inspiring,” Harrigan read from her resignation letter.
She said she had served on the board with three different superintendents, four assistant superintendents, 26 different school principals and 10 different board members.
“The only stable people have been (assistant superintendent of business services) and Brenda Dyckman (principal at ),” Harrigan joked.
Her own daughter went through the district and graduated from Blach Intermediate School in 2002.
Harrigan's decision was spurred by a unanimous , she said.
“I had not intended to serve beyond a third term, which would have ended on December 2011,” Harrigan said. “When the board voted to extend our terms, I made the decision to not serve a 13th year.”
The five-member school board will be empty by one seat, so a temporary board member will be appointed to fill out the unexpired term, said district Superintendent Jeff Baier.
The interim board member can, of course, run for an elected four-year term next November, Baier added.
On Tuesday night at the Los Altos City Council meeting, Councilmember David Casas encouraged whoever applies for the unexpired term to pledge not to run for the seat in 2012.
"It essentially takes the votes out of the community's hands," Casas said.
Applicants must be registered voters living within the school district. An application form, cover letter, resume, and response to questions in the public interview process is required. The application is due November 4; interviews will be held at a special meeting on November 14, Baier said.
The new member will be sworn in Dec. 5, the same day Harrigan steps off the board.
Fellow board member Doug Smith posted a message to Harrigan on Patch Tuesday praising her service.
“Margot, we will miss your service to our community, your thoughtful consideration, and your passion for putting our children first. You will be missed, and you leave big shoes to fill.”