SARANAC LAKE - Debra Lennon has resigned from the Saranac Lake Central School District Board of Education, citing family medical reasons.
"It's nothing major," said Lennon, who is president of the board. "I just have family obligations, and I'm not going to fulfill the duties of next year. There are some family medical issues, and I'm going to have to be more present. For that reason I'm going to have to focus on my family.
"It's a huge time commitment," Lennon added. "I know over the next couple months I'm not going to have the time that I need to put in the amount of effort that is needed."
Debra Lennon speaks at a Saranac Lake school board meeting in April.
(Enterprise photo — Matthew Turner)
Lennon has sat on the school board 10 years since first being elected in May 2004. The board will discuss replacing her at its July 1 organizational meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Vice President Clyde Baker read Lennon's resignation letter to the board at the last school board meeting Wednesday.
"Her letter of resignation does not take effect until June 30," Baker told the Enterprise. "Then we will do our swearing in for whoever will be president and we'll fill that seat."
The appointment would be to fill the remaining year of Lennon's term. She recommended the board chose one of the two unsuccessful candidates from the most recent election: Lisa Paschke and Terry Tubridy. Both were on the board until voters this May chose Kelly Morgan and Aurora White over them. Paschke got 250 votes while Tubridy got 246.
"Terry or Lisa, they know what the deal is," Lennon said. "They can walk right back on and finish my year. It's seamless. That's why I resigned right now."
Baker, who has served on the board for seven years and has been vice president for two, showed an interest in being appointed president.
"I am (interested)," Baker said. "That will be a vote the board decides on, that night, and I'm not sure if anyone else will be throwing their hat in the ring.
"She's going to be missed on the board," Baker added about Lennon. "She's stepped up for a number of years and been a good board member for us."
Lennon said the role of the president is not more powerful or influential than any other board member, but it demands that the president be objective and get along with many different people.
"It is the (president's) role to run the meeting efficiently and in an orderly fashion, to give everyone a platform to speak what they are thinking," Lennon said. "That's what they should be looking at when they choose a president."
She said she probably won't run for the school board again.
"I enjoyed it," she said. "I learned a lot. Most of the time it's been a pleasure and an honor."