Shere Byrd, who represents northeast La Plata County on the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education, resigned at the end of Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
Byrd cited the required time and work necessary to serve on the board combined with her duties at Fort Lewis College, where she is a professor of biology, and her duties as a member of the San Juan Basin Public Health board of directors.
All her duties have been complicated with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
“I’ve just found that I haven’t been able to do the kind of job that I would like to do for the district. And also my regular job, I just have too much on my plate,” she said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
The seat, which represents District E, will officially open Dec. 1. The district will interview applicants and vote on filling the position likely in the first week of January, said Julie Popp, 9-R spokeswoman.
District E boundaries include the area northeast of downtown Durango and areas east of the Animas River.
Whoever fills the position would need to run for election to retain the seat in the November 2021 school board election.
Byrd had served as president of school board since February until earlier this month, when the board elected new officers.
Byrd was appointed to the seat in August 2017 and she was elected in November 2017.
“There are some issues and mistakes you can make as a new school board member, and you’ve helped me with that,” said Kristin Smith, who assumed the Board of Education presidency Nov. 11.
Byrd said she wanted to apologize to the voters of District E for failing to serve a full four-year term, but she said she had reached the point where she needed to reduce her duties and stress level.
“I’ve just found myself waking up at one in the morning before board meetings” she said. “So for me, just as a matter of my mental health and my ability to do the job, well – when I woke up at one on Monday night – I just said: ‘I just can’t do this anymore.’”
Byrd said it is a good time for new involvement on the board because the board is beginning a search for a new superintendent after Dan Snowberger announced he would resign at the end of June 2021 after serving nine years.