Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs School Board member Pat Gleason resigned Wednesday. His resignation is effective immediately.
The District 4 representative since 2002, Gleason wrote to School Board President Denise Connelly on Wed-nesday that he did not agree with the direction of the current School Board and could "no longer serve on this board in good conscience."
"As representatives of the public's trust, we often find ourselves in the position of having 'to do the right thing' for the district and the community even though the 'right thing' may conflict with the current board's direction and/or board ethics."
Gleason sent a copy of his resignation to School Board members John DeVincentis, Jeff Troeger and Jerry Kozatch. He also sent a copy to Superintendent Donna Howell and to the Pilot & Today.
Gleason did not offer further comment.
"I'm at a loss," Connelly said. "I felt like we had a good working relationship. I know this has been frustrating for all of us."
Connelly added she was surprised by Gleason's resignation. She had hoped Gleason would be part of the solution as the School Board seeks to mend its relationship with Howell and improve communication throughout the district.
Connelly thanked Gleason for his contributions to the School Board.
Howell said Wednesday the School Board lost a valuable voice. Gleason is a business owner, so he represented the business sector and the voices of his workers, who often were not heard, Howell said.
"He's a very intelligent man," she added. "He really brought forward some pertinent questions relative to most issues we were dealing with whether it was educational accountability, operations or compensation."
Gleason was instrumental in the construction of the artificial turf field at the Steamboat Springs High School, and has been heavily involved in the district's increasing collaborations with the city on various projects.
He was appointed to the District 4 seat in January 2002 and was re-elected in 2003. His term would have expired in November. He had served on the School Board longer than any current member and was part of the School Board that hired Howell.
Gleason was Howell's strongest advocate on a board that has been at odds with her for much of the year. On Tuesday, Connelly said, "Everything is up in the air" regarding Howell's future with the district.
Howell said his presence on the board will be missed.
"He brings a tremendous amount of history," Howell said. "He's lived in this town his whole life. He provided a good context with regards to the history of Steamboat."
As a School Board member, Gleason was the liaison between the district and the city, served on the Community Recreation Exploratory Committee, was a board representative on the Education Fund Board, represented Steamboat on the Colorado Association of School Boards, served on the General Safety Committee and was on the School Facility/Building Committee.
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