The Roswell Independent School District School Board accepted the resignation of Board President Alan Gedde during a special meeting Friday afternoon.
A motion to reorganize the board failed, but the remaining board members did set specifications for selecting a new board member with a goal of doing so by the September meeting.
The board and district officials also outlined plans for reopening schools.
Gedde offered his letter of resignation earlier in the week to Superintendent Mike Gottlieb and the rest of the board, effective Monday. Gedde was elected to represent District 3 in 2017. He has served as secretary of the board and was chosen as president in 2018 and again this spring.
During his time on the board, Gedde oversaw a number of events in the district, including the hiring and later the resignation of former Superintendent Dr. Ann Lynn McIlroy, the groundbreaking for the new Del Norte Elementary School and an unprecedented and abrupt end to in-school instruction with the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Board Vice President Hope Morales led Friday’s meeting, giving Gedde, who was present in the board room, an opportunity to speak.
Gedde said he was sad to resign, but that his reasons were personal and about his family. He did not elaborate on those reasons during the meeting or in speaking to the Roswell Daily Record afterward.
“It really is personal and family, and that’s the honest-to-goodness truth,” he told the Daily Record.
“It stinks to have to leave, but it is what needs to be done for my family,” he said.
Gedde said he will remain in Roswell and plans to stay active in the schools.
Tamara Gedde, his wife, is an assistant principal in the district and four of their children will be attending RISD schools this year.
He didn’t rule out a return to the school board in the future.
“This situation will probably be short-lived,” he said. “In the end, I need to make sure I take the time to handle it properly.”
Gedde said he felt “extremely blessed” to have worked with the board, Gottlieb and the RISD staff.
“I will keep you in my prayers, and I just pray for the best for Roswell, I really do,” he said at Friday’s meeting.
His fellow board members and the superintendent likewise had praise for him.
Board Secretary Hilda Sanchez thanked him for his leadership.
“I see you working diligently on our vision of empowering our students to academic excellence and as model citizens. You have put your heart and your soul into everything concerning the district,” she said.
Board member Mona Kirk spoke of the friendship she and Gedde had formed while serving together.
“We’ve had our differences. But I always knew I had your full support, and I hope you knew that of me, too,” she said.
The board accepted Gedde’s resignation with Sanchez, Kirk and Morales voting yes. Board member James Edwards abstained.
The remaining board members also discussed choosing new board officers but did not take any action.
Kirk suggested waiting until a new board member is chosen to give that person inclusion in the process.
“Let’s hold off until we get that fifth person on and let them be part of the process to make them feel part of our board and have ownership in that vote,” she said.
Sanchez, however, made a motion to reorganize, which was seconded by Edwards. Sanchez and Morales approved the motion and Kirk voted against. Edwards, after deliberating for several moments, abstained from the vote.
Morales declared the motion failed and prepared to move forward on the agenda, but a question arose whether or not the motion had actually failed. Gottlieb said it failed because it did not receive approval from a majority of the full membership of the board, which would be three votes. That was later verified with the district’s attorney.
The board did decide the process of selecting a new board member. The board has 45 days under state statute to make an appointment, and set a goal to do so by its Sept. 8 meeting.
The board will accept letters of interest from the public in District 3 until Aug. 14. A one-page resume and three references will be required, and the board will publish in the Daily Record questions they would like applicants to answer and a map of the district.
The board will interview all who submit the required materials, with interviews conducted the week of Aug. 17 to 21.
City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or firstname.lastname@example.org.