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SBCSC trustee Stephanie Spivey resigns

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Community School Corporation is down a member. Trustee Stephanie Spivey resigned Monday evening from her elected position on the board.

Spivey said sudden and serious health issues within her family was the reason for her immediate resignation.

Board chairman Roger Parent made it clear during Monday night's school board meeting that the South Bend Community School Corporation has had it's share of problems, but that the resignation will not take away from the board's primary concerns over the budget and impending teacher lay-offs.

"To be characterized as missing from the board because of some missed meetings is very unfair," said Stephanie Spivey.

That was a defensive Spivey when ABC 57 News sat down with her in May. For months, rumors of her absence and residence status here in Indiana have been raising concerns about her role on the school board.

Now she is stepping down to take care of her mother, who has become ill. "My mom took care of me and now it is time for me to take care of her and that is what i have to do, and in the interim i have to take care of myself and it's been very stressful for me," said Spivey. 

Spivey says it was a decision she was forced to make -- a decision to move to North Carolina to be closer to family and for her husband, whose job uncertainty was also hanging in the balance.

"We appreciate her three and half year service on the board and we wish her well. She had to move for a variety of reasons, said board chairman Roger Parent. 

"I think my voice allowed several programs to move forward." Spivey said she feels she helped soften the some of the cuts that impacted the classrooms the most and says she by no means was taking her responsibilities lightly when she miss meetings earlier in the year.

A large part of that, she said, had to do with her travels back and forth from North Carolina -- Something Parent says is a fact that is hard to ignore.

"If someone doesn't plan on returning to the district, any district, any elected official and they have missed a lot of meetings, then in effect they are gone," said Parent. 

Now the board needs to start the process of filling Spivey's seat, which needs to be done within 30 days.

"It's something we will have to take the time to do and we've gone through a lot in the last two or three years that has taken a lot of time, a lot of board members time, but we'll do it, it's our job," said Parent.

The board is giving those interested in the position until Tuesday, June 12th, at noon, to submit an application. The board said it will then review all the applicants and narrow it down to three people before moving forward with the interview process.

Parent said that whoever is selected will then fill Spivey's seat until December, when the position is once again up for election.

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