PORTLAND, Maine — Elizabeth Brooks, who has served on the Portland Board of Public Education since 2008, will step down from the panel in June, the school department announced Thursday.
Chairwoman Sarah Thompson said the district will not hold a special election to determine her replacement. The board will maintain a vacant seat until voters choose a new member on Election Day in November, Thompson said.
“There is no reason to ask the taxpayers to spend $18,000-$20,000 on a special election to fill a vacancy of just a few months,” said Thompson, who said the schools will miss Brooks, in a statement. “I believe that this board can function fine with eight members over the summer and fall.”
Brooks is in the final year of her second three-year term. She said in a statement released by the Portland Public Schools that she is returning to her native United Kingdom “for personal reasons” after 18 years living in Maine’s largest city.
“It is with great sadness that I have to resign my position, but I must return to live in the U.K. and must move this summer,” said Brooks, who most recently has chaired the board’s operations committee and spent several years on parent groups and task forces before joining the school board. “I feel privileged to have served Portland as an at-large school board member and to have worked with such a dedicated group committed to our students. I will continue to be an active and fully engaged member of the school board until my departure.
“We have some of the best teachers in the country and a very competent administration, and I have no doubt that Portland will achieve its goal of becoming the best small urban district in the country,” she continued.