Crook County School Board member Gwen Carr announced her resignation Thursday. It comes a little more than a week after three challengers, campaigning together, ousted incumbent board members in a special district election.
Carr cited the need to recover from a serious head injury as the reason for her departure. Her resignation will take effect June 9.
“I recently suffered a significant head injury at work, and my recovery has progressed much slower than I had hoped,” Carr wrote in her resignation letter. “This wasn’t an easy decision, but I believe the best thing I can do for my health is take a step back and focus on getting better.”
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In an emergency school board meeting Thursday, the remaining members voted unanimously to open an application process to fill the vacant seat. Those wishing to apply have until 5 p.m on June 5. That new board member will be selected on June 12 and join the board on July 1.
Carr’s term expires in June 2025.
It’s the latest shakeup for the board after Cheyenne Edgerly, Jessica Brumble and Jennifer Knight — a trio who have come to be known as the “Mama Bears” — defeated incumbents Doug Smith, Jessica Norris and Board Chair Jessica Ritter in the May 16 election.
The three newcomers won their races on a joint platform of ensuring parental rights in education, rejecting use of critical race theory and protecting children’s innocence. They will make up a majority of the new five-person board in July.
Since Carr’s position is an at-large one, citizens who apply can live anywhere in Crook County but must meet the following requirements:
- Be a registered voter in Crook County
- Established resident in Crook County for at least one year
- Not an employee of Crook County School District
Application materials are posted on the district’s website at this link. Citizens can also pick up hard copies at the school district’s main office at 471 Ochoco Plaza Drive in Prineville.
Read Carr’s resignation letter below:
Dr. Johnson & fellow school board members,
Effective June 9th, 2023, I will resign from the Crook County School Board after an incredible run of 10 years. I recently suffered a significant head injury at work, and my recovery has progressed much slower than I had hoped. This wasn’t an easy decision, but I believe the best thing I can do for my health is take a step back and focus on getting better.
Serving on the school board as a mother has been a unique privilege. I joined when my children were eight and ten, and I’ve had the honor of watching many of our local children grow and blossom over the past decade. My mission as a school board member has always been to do what’s best for kids. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past decade, and I step away knowing the school district has a strong foundation for future success and an exceptional staff to help steer the ship.
My last act as a school board member will be participating in the CCHS graduation ceremony on Friday, June 9th. I look forward to handing my youngest child his diploma on stage and celebrating the Class of 2023.
I wish the newly-elected school board members the best as they begin their leadership roles in July.