Donna Blake ended one of the county’s longest tenures on a Board of Education with her sudden resignation this week.
Blake has been a member of Hannibal’s board for 15 years.
She said she was going to leave the board when her current term expires next year, but decided to leave early so that voters would be able to elect a board member in May.
The board voted last year to reduce its size from 9 members to 7. That means that current board members Madeline Pittorf and Fred Patane would not be able to run for reelection this year when their terms expire.
Blake’s decision means that there will be at least one vacant seat to fill on election day.
Blake chided her fellow board members to “change the focus. Kids — make them your first focus. Instead of fighting each other, fight together for kids. Work together and be the change for kids.”
She reminded them that most of Hannibal’s problems are not local; they’re caused by state and federal decisions. She urged them to work with others to solve those problems.
When it came time for the board to vote to accept Blake’s resignation, no other board member would make the initial motion.
“No way, Jose,” said Linda Warrick.
Eventually, Patane offered the motion, “with regret.”
Later, community member John Metulsky, a frequent critic of the board, thanked her for her service and noted, “you’ve taken a lot of guff over the years.”
Blake will remain as the district’s representative on the BOCES Board of Education.