Ashland school board member steps down, teacher’s union asks for representation

ASHLAND, Ore.– An Ashland school board member is stepping down from her position with more than a year left on her term.

Chairwoman Deniece Covert Zeve announced her resignation last week during a school board meeting. The school board spoke with NBC5 News after the story aired and said Zeve decided to step down since her children had graduated from high school and after having served an extended period of time in the position.

With a position to fill, the teacher’s union Ashland Education Association is asking to be a part of the process and that a “teacher voice” should be included.

“Generally speaking, board members are elected by the public,” said AEA President Jackie Case. “In this case, this board member will be appointed and so it only seems right that there are other stakeholders at the table.”

Case says that the new board member will need to understand the multitude of discussions in the district regarding such things as class sizes, services to under-represented students, adding mental health service, and increasing support to counseling staff. The board member will also have to be updated on the public funds the school district received from the recently passed Student Success Act.

The teacher’s union says Zeve’s resignation is unprecedented. According to their recollection, a board member has never resigned from their post before their term ends in the past 15 years.

However, the school board said there have been three board members who have resigned before their term ended in the last eight years.

Zeve will continue serving on the board until December 10. However, her term was until the end of June 2021.

*This article has been updated with response from the school board. 

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