2015-06-19 / Community News

School board seat to remain unfilled

Following resignation, decision is made to wait five months and fill vacant seat in next election
By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

Jane Leng Jane Leng The Board of Education will operate with six members for the next five months after a member of the board resigned earlier this spring.

Chairman Donna Beeley accepted the resignation of Jane Leng, who had served on the board since 2013, when she was the leading vote-getter in the three-way race for two seats on the Board of Education.

Prior to serving on the board she was an active volunteer at Eight Corners Primary School and Wentworth Intermediate School.

Beeley said Leng, who has lived in Scarborough since 2000, is moving out of state with her husband and two sons.

Leng told the Leader in October 2013, she ran for a seat on the board because she wanted to “ensure Scarborough continues to provide quality education for our children, through strong schools that prepare them for productive careers, while we exercise financial prudence and build a strong community.” Leng’s term runs through 2016, but her replacement will join for a full three-year term.

According to the Town Charter, “If a seat on the Board of Education becomes vacant more than six months prior to the next regular town election, the vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term by a special election held within 60 days from the date the vacancy occurred.”

If, like in this case, the vacancy happens less than six months from the next town election, the Board of Education may fill the seat by a special election or wait until the next election. Beeley said the board, which is only meeting once in July and once in August, is going to “wait until the November election” to fill Leng’s seat.

Superintendent George Entwistle said he appreciates the time and effort Leng put in during her time on the board. Leng, whose last Board of Education meeting was April 9, served on the board’s Policy Committee and chaired its Long Range Facilities Planning Committee.

“I enjoyed working with her and I think Mrs. Leng was passionate and very bright and capable,” Entwistle said. “Very often she would ask questions or provide a perspective that was very helpful in terms of moving our thinking ahead. I wish her and her family the best.”

This is the second time since 2013 a Board of Education member resigned mid-term. In May 2013, Aymie Hardesty resigned from the board after close to two and a half years of service.

Including Leng’s seat, there will be four vacancies on the Board of Education. The terms of Beeley and Chris Caiazzo, who were elected for the first time in 2012, and Jackie Perry, a longtime member of the board, are up in November.

Attempts to reach Leng were unsuccessful.

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