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District 833's Boyd stepping down

District 833 School Board Chairwoman Leslee Boyd gets emotional talking about serving on the board as she announces she will step down in December after five years on the board. Superintendent Keith Jacobus, who Boyd and the board hired earlier this year, looks on.

South Washington County School Board Chairwoman Leslee Boyd is resigning at the end of the year.

Boyd announced at the board's Thursday night meeting she will step down in December after five years on the board. Boyd said she and her family are moving to Oklahoma, where her husband is taking a new job.

"It has been a privilege to serve the communities of south Washington County as a member of the school board," she said, noting the honor she felt by serving as board chairwoman the past three years. "The time I have spent in those roles has been incredibly rewarding."

Boyd was emotional as she made her announcement at the end of the board meeting.

"My time on the board has provided a unique opportunity to serve our communities and work with a talented staff toward a common goal of improving education for our children," said Boyd, who had been a school and district volunteer before being elected in 2007. "I know I will miss the challenges, but with tremendous foundation in place for our school district, under the leadership of Dr. [Keith] Jacobus, I am confident that South Washington County Schools will reach even higher levels of excellence."

Board members said they were surprised by Boyd's decision, but congratulated and praised her.

Board member Ron Kath credited her with leading efforts to revise district policies and form negotiating committees.

"Your leadership with bringing new leadership into the district through some tough times was well respected and thoughtful," Kath said.

Calling for a new direction and vision for the district of nearly 18,000 students, Boyd last year led a controversial effort to dismiss former Superintendent Mark Porter at the end of his first three-year contract. She then oversaw the board earlier this year as it hired Jacobus as superintendent.

"I'm grateful for your leadership and guidance as I've started," Jacobus told Boyd Thursday.

Boyd's husband, Shane, is taking a job with Devon Energy, a gas and oil exploration and production company. Their eldest child attends college in Oklahoma. They have two other sons who attend East Ridge High School; one is a freshman, the other a junior.

Boyd was elected to a second four-year term in 2011, so three years remain in her term. Following district policy and state law, Boyd's position must be filled by appointment until the next election, in November 2013.

District residents can apply for the spot by submitting a letter of intent and resume by 4 p.m. Nov. 26. Applicants should address why they want to serve on the board, identify strengths they would provide, name the three biggest issues facing the district and describe their previous volunteer or professional work with the district and community.

Board members will review applications and conduct interviews in time to vote on an appointment Dec. 20, according to District 833 Communications Director Barb Brown. The new appointed board member will take office in January and serve until Nov. 5, 2013.

Applications will be accepted at the District Service Center, attn.: Mary Amidon, 7362 East Point Douglas Road, Cottage Grove, MN 55016

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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