Board member resigns
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Board member resigns

Story By: TARA SMITH
7/6/2017


Last week, Patchogue-Medford board of education trustee Bunnie Schiller submitted her resignation from the board of education. Her resignation, announced in a post on the board of education’s Facebook page, went into effect on June 30.

Schiller had one more year left in her three-year term and served as the second vice president on the board. Schiller said the decision wasn’t easy. “I truly love sitting on the board of education, however, when an opportunity to serve our students in a different capacity came about, I knew it was the right thing for me to do,” she said.

Her tenure as a board member has been impactful and she said she will continue advocating as a community member, parent and now an employee. “It has meant a lot to me to be able to advocate and bring about positive change for our community, our school district and most importantly, our students,” Schiller said.

Schiller will soon be starting her new role as a teaching assistant in the district. She began her career in special education with BOCES in 2001 and has worked in the education field ever since. “My new role within the district will allow me to advocate and support our students daily within the classroom and allow me to help make a positive difference in our students lives’ every day and will allow me the opportunity to have a role in creating a program that best supports our students who perhaps need us the most,” Schiller said.

The board thanked Schiller in a Facebook post following her resignation. “The board and the district thank Ms. Schiller for her service as a board of education trustee and wish her the best in the future,” the post reads.

Anthony O’Brien, board of education president, described the three options the board has under New York State law. The first is holding a special election, which O’Brien said would be quite costly to the district. They also have the option of leaving the seat vacant, but with decisions to make, he fears a split board.

O’Brien told the Advance that the board is planning to appoint a trustee to fill Schiller’s seat until the next school budget vote in May 2018. “We have done our research and we are not obligated under law to put out a ‘help wanted’ or anything like that,” O’Brien explained.

He declined to name specific candidates, but did say that school board members have been researching and interviewing potential successors. “We’re looking for someone who is involved with the community and school district and someone that has a knowledge of the direction that the district is headed,” he said. “Some [candidates] have children or have had children in the district, while others have no children. We’re talking to candidates that represent a little bit of everybody who lives in the district.”

He said the board expects to finalize their decision and appoint a new trustee at a reorganizational board meeting on July 6.