BETHLEHEM The Bethlehem Central School District’s Board of Education is a member short after the sudden departure of one of its members.
Laura Ladd Bierman announced she was submitting her letter of resignation at a Wednesday, May 22, meeting of the school board. The meeting was a follow-up to the district’s budget vote held the preceding day. Her resignation was effective immediately.
“I’m not leaving for any upset, bad reasons or frustration,” she said in a later interview. “These last five years have not been easy. I am frustrated with the whole educational system these days and the funding of it. It seems like we’ve been dismantling our whole educational system the past five years, and it’s hard to say my time on the board has been fun, but I think I’m leaving it in good hands.”
Bierman said she has been thinking of leaving the school board for a while because of additional responsibilities at her home and work. She delayed the decision to see whether or not the budget would pass.
“If the budget didn’t pass I would have waited because there would have been additional work to do and additional cuts to be made,” she said.
Bierman has served on the board since 2008, with previous experience serving on a school board in a suburb of Chicago. She is now the executive director of the League of Women Voters of New York State.
Officials said her knowledge and experience were assets to the board.
“I commend her passion,” said Bethlehem Central Superintendent Tom Douglas. “She has brought a balanced persona that has always maintained the best interests of the students and that will be missed.”
The district is now consulting with counsel to figure out the legal options to fill the vacancy.
Douglas said he believes the board has some options and the position could be filled through a special election, by an appointment through the school board or through an appointment by the BOCES district superintendent, which acts as an overseer for the state’s Department of Education.