Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board member Sharon Sheehan has resigned.

The resignation came two days after Ms. Sheehan ended up on the losing side of a board vote to extend Superintendent Hardy Murphy’s contract to 2012.

Ms. Sheehan, who has sharply criticized the superintendent’s performance since her election to the board in 2005, said in a resignation letter that it’s now apparent that the change she sought in the schools “will not come.”

She criticized what she called failed leadership policies that she said have led 500 students to leave the district for private schools.

And she claimed that her fellow board members and the district administration have settled for “good enough” when the district’s children deserve the highest quality eduction.

In a news release issued today, School Board President Mary Erickson said Ms. Sheehan was a dedicated board member, diligent in serving the Evanston/Skokie community, who demonstrated professionalism in her board responsibilities. 

“I have always valued her analytical ability, and it is unfortunate that Ms. Sheehan has decided to resign at this time,” Ms. Erickson was quoted as saying.

The six remaining school board members will name a successor within 45 days to fill out Ms. Sheehan’s term until the 2009 school board election. Persons interested in the position can submit resumes and letters of interest addressed to Ms. Erickson at the District Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave. in Evanston.

At next Monday’s meeting the board plans to discuss the process and timeline for filling the vacancy.

Under the state school code, a candidate must be a registered voter who has lived in the district for at least a year. Current school treasurers and trustees and child sex offenders are barred from holding the job. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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