Board Vice President Valerie Merriam filed for reelection last week, but decided to step down after a Saturday meeting with her opponent, Kelly Smith.
Merriam says she believes they share a common philosophy and has decided as a result to turn her efforts towards other educational pursuits.
“This would have meant much, much time on the campaign for both of us when we both want this referendum to pass and that is far more important than my being on the board,” Merriam said.
With Merriam’s departure, the First District seat will be uncontested. Smith says he is looking forward to the challenge of working with the board during difficult times.
“I think with all that has been happening – I just though it was a good challenge and a good time to get involved.” Smith said, “I’m a former teacher. I’ve been working with the schools for a long time.”
Smith says he will be working with Merriam to ensure there is a smooth transition. He says both he and Merriam plan to concentrate on a ballot referendum which would restore funds lost to a recent round of state funding cuts.
Smith currently works with Bloomington-based educational publisher and support company Solution Tree.