MERCED — Two of the five members of the Merced River School District Board of Trustees have resigned, and their replacements likely will be named in mid-March.
Joanne Presnell resigned from the five-member board Jan. 14 after eight years service, and Richard Lopez resigned Feb. 6 after 16 years. Both said they resigned because of personal and family commitments.
Trustees decided this week to fill the two vacancies by appointment March 13 rather than by special election, which could have cost between $15,000 and $20,000, Superintendent Helio Brasil said.
With only three board members left, all actions have to be unanimous, but that has never been a problem, Brasil said.
Presnell, 63, retired two years ago from the Merced County Department of Workforce Investment, where she was assistant director. A Snelling resident, she is also on the board of the Alpha Help Pregnancy Center.
"It was a wonderful board to work with," Presnell said. "I wish them the very best. All of them have the best interest of the community and children. It's a wonderful school and Helio is an excellent superintendent."
The school needs someone on the board who will put 100 percent of their effort into the task, Presnell said.
Lopez, 43, said he has enjoyed the 16 years he has spent on the board. His daughter now is involved in competitive sports, which includes practices and tournaments, and he has to balance family and work.
Lopez, who is principal at Planada Elementary School, said the time was right for him to step down from his board post. He thanked the community for the opportunity to serve.
Brasil said the two board vacancies must be filled within 60 days of the resignation. The remaining trustees, George Soares, Lloyd Pareira and Scot Sherman, will be interviewing trustee candidates and soliciting candidates' statements.
Brasil said Lopez and Presnell were wonderful trustees who served Merced River students incredibly well. They each had two years left on their terms.
Merced River trustees serve without any form of compensation, Brasil said.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.