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Mitchell absent as Bremerton School Board makes resignation official

The resignation of Bremerton School Board member Louis Mitchell was made official Thursday, but Mitchell wasn't at the meeting to explain his reasons for leaving.

Mitchell announced without explanation Feb. 11 he would resign his seat. His term would have expired in 2011.

The board will take applications for the position and has 90 days to replace Mitchell, who was elected in 2003.

Contacted Thursday following the meeting, Mitchell declined to comment.

Members of the board spoke highly of Mitchell, praising him for his knowledge of district issues and for showing integrity and professionalism.

"The biggest thing I respected about Mr. Mitchell was he made some very, very tough choices, and he was not afraid to stand by those choices," said board member Scott Rahm. "That's a lesson I hope none of us forget."

Herndon said the district wants the position filled sooner rather than later, though the process can be slow because the board must take action during regularly scheduled meetings. The board meets twice a month.

"We've got budget stuff and you want all board members on board as soon as you can," Herndon said.

Mitchell was one of two holdovers — Vicki Collins is the other — who served on the board during the tenure of former Superintendent Bette Hyde. Herndon assumed the post in July 2009.

The resignation was announced in a letter dated Feb. 10 to district supporters. Although the reason for the resignation was not made explicit in the letter, Mitchell wrote he postponed his decision to avoid interfering with the district's levy renewal campaign.

Mitchell sent notification by e-mail that he wouldn't attend Thursday's regular meeting, Herndon said.

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