The Beaverton School Board lost one of its leaders Monday night as Lisa Shultz resigned from her Zone 7 seat.
'My decision to resign is a result of recent changes in my personal life that require my full focus and attention,' the Cedar Hills resident told the board. 'The role of school board member is both important and demanding, and I will be unable to devote the time and energy that the public should expect in their elected representative.
'I have put great thought into this very difficult decision.'
Shultz ran unopposed in May for her second term representing Chehalem, Fir Grove, Sexton Mountain and William Walker elementary schools; Highland Park and Meadow Park middle schools; and the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy.
'While I feel a tremendous sense of personal loss in not being able to continue in my role as a member of this board, I do not leave discouraged or in despair,' she said in a prepared statement she read during Monday night's board meeting. 'I am unwavering in my support of public education and my belief that the way to improve public education is through increased involvement by the public and respectful dialog on the complex issues before us.
'Now more than ever is a time when we are called to support public education by becoming involved, contributing our best thinking, our best actions and our best comportment.'
On Tuesday, Shultz said she really enjoyed her nearly five years on the board and the opportunity to visit classrooms.
'It was a real privilege,' she said. 'It's amazing what you learn.'
One of those lessons was the certainty that schools would always evolve and change.
She told the board, 'You have shown me that it is the spirit in which we work together that will determine our success.'
She felt confident the board would select a qualified candidate to appoint to her vacant seat.
School district spokeswoman Maureen Wheeler said officials have not yet determined a selection process, but the board would appoint someone to represent Zone 7 through June 2013. That person and other board hopefuls would have the opportunity to run for election to the position during the next regular district election in May 2013 to fulfill the remainder of Shultz's term that would have expired June 30, 2015.
Fellow board members said Shultz, who was never afraid to speak up when she felt strongly about an issue, would be missed.
'I'm very sad, but I support her decision,' said Board Chairwoman LeeAnn Larsen on Wednesday. 'Lisa has been a phenomenal board member. I really respect her and the work she has done as a board member.
'Lisa could be relied on to do research and a lot of work behind the scenes on issues and topics that would be coming before the board. She recently served as vice chair and has been a tremendous support to me and a great partner.'
Board member Tom Quillin agreed.
'Lisa consistently pushed for data-driven decisions and was an extremely hard working board member,' Quillin said. 'Lisa was a great advocate for equity and creating opportunities for our kids.'
Shultz brought a passion for meeting the needs of Talented And Gifted students while also believing in equity for all kids, Larsen added.
'Lisa also has an extremely intelligent and inquisitive mind,' she said. 'When we went to discuss an issue, topic or program, we could rely on her to ask questions others didn't think of.
'We each have our own personalities and unique lens that we view issues through. We don't all think alike and have our individual voices, which I think makes us stronger as a board. Her lens was helpful and unique and will be missed.'
Shultz, who is an engineer and single mother, said she plans to remain in the area and support district leaders any way she can.
'While other concerns will be taking my time and attention in the near future, I look forward to re-engaging in the work of supporting public education,' Shultz said. 'Whatever role I play, my contribution will be made stronger by what I have learned here.'