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Jeffco school board member resigns, leaving opening

Ron Mitchell, right, takes the oath of office for the Jefferson County school board in 2015.
Ron Mitchell, right, takes the oath of office for the Jefferson County school board in 2015.
Nicholas Garcia

The five-member Jeffco school board soon will have an open seat.

Board member Ron Mitchell announced his resignation during a board meeting Thursday night citing health needs and a desire to spend more time with family.

“All of my past sins from a health point of view are beginning to catch up with me and one of the things I need to do is a better job of taking care of me,” Mitchell said, adding that he didn’t want the public to worry.

His resignation will be effective Thursday.

Mitchell, 75, represents Jeffco’s District 5 which includes the southern part of the district bordering Denver and Arapahoe County. Mitchell is serving a second term on the board which was set to run until next November.

Mitchell was first elected to the board after Jeffco voters recalled three conservative board members. He ran for reelection unopposed in 2017.

During his tenure, Mitchell served as board president and most recently as one of two board vice presidents.

His colleagues on the board praised him as they accepted his resignation.

Board member Stephanie Schooley recalled meeting Mitchell when she was a parent at a school meeting.

“You made our community feel heard and feel like we were a part of a conversation that mattered,” Schooley said.

Mitchell choked back tears as he recalled his long history with the district, first as a student, and later as a teacher, principal, then administrator and most recently on the board.

“It’s not easy for me, but I think it is time,” Mitchell said.

The school board, which is preparing to open a search for a superintendent this school year, now also will have to begin a process for replacing Mitchell.

The board is expected to declare a vacancy at its next meeting Wednesday allowing it to start accepting applications. It then has 60 days to vet and appoint a new member to serve out the remainder of Mitchell’s term.

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