School District 166 seeking school board member

Cook County Schools will soon be in need of a new District 3 school board member to represent the west Grand Marais area.  At the November 21, 2013 school board meeting, Mary Sanders submitted a letter of resignation effective December 6 after 11 years on the board.  She is building a new house and moving out of her district.  The district is seeking someone from the west Grand Marais district to serve in her place through the end of 2014. 

Sanders said in her letter, addressed to the school board, Superintendent Beth Schwarz and District 3 constituents, “With both regret and relief I must tell you of my decision to resign from the ISD 166 school board effective at 6:00 p.m. on December 6, 2013.  I regret not being able to complete the last year of my third term on this board where I’ve experienced 11 years of stimulating service. However, because I’ll be out of my elective District 3 after moving into town (mid- 2014), I began thinking that appointing a new member to the board before January’s organizational meeting would be helpful for the board plus give that appointed board member valuable experience before the 2014 election when members from Districts 1, 3, and 5 must run.

“Legally, I could serve out my term after moving, but personally I’m listening to my ‘inner voice’ telling me that I do have limits of time and energy and I need to focus on this house-building/moving project that demands measures more than anticipated by me.  Besides, I want to enjoy the building of a first house designed for us and also enjoy living as a couple in what we hope will be our last house.   Therefore, I feel relief in my resignation.

“I will always be grateful for the privilege of serving District 3 on the school board.  It has been not only a stimulating but also a tremendous learning experience for me.  I hope that I am leaving it better for having served.  I will continue to be involved in this school district in less demanding roles and may even appear during ‘Community Comments’ [when community members can speak to the board during school board meetings].”

“Keep believing and growing in our mission statement, ‘Success for each, respect for all!’”

District 3 lies roughly between the Cook County Courthouse and Cascade River and is also served by County Commissioner Sue Hakes.  After Sanders’ last meeting as a school board on December 6, the school board will interview District 3 residents interested in filling her term. “Of course the board will want a candidate who cares about the success of this district’s students,” Sanders told the Cook County News-Herald.

“I’ve sometimes heard the comment, ‘That is a thankless job,’” Sanders said.  “Don’t believe that comment!  This ‘job’ may be demanding and frustrating at times, but there is great reward in feeling you are making a positive difference. And one even may hear actual words of thanks for ‘doing what you do.’”

Those interested serving on the board can contact School Board Chairperson Jeanne Anderson by phone at (218)370-7901 or by email at