After serving on the Seaside School Board for nearly two terms, Hugh Stelson resigned Oct. 21 to accommodate his increasing out-of-state travel and pass the seat to another, more accessible community member.
“When I ran for my second term, I really didn’t know I would be leaving the community on a regular basis,” Stelson said.
In retirement, he added, he’s been spending several months at a time in Arizona. “If we could find someone whose eyes and ears are in the community, that would be preferable.”
Stelson started his board position more than seven years ago. A couple of the district’s major accomplishments during that time include getting the new campus built on Spruce Drive and hiring Susan Penrod to serve as assistant superintendent for the 2019-2020 school year and take over as superintendent this school year. Stelson described hiring a superintendent as “the most important thing a school board can do.”
“I think we made a good choice,” he added.
This year has presented an unprecedented challenge for the district in terms of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which Stelson continues to view as the biggest concern “going forward for the schools and the board.”
“My guess is there won’t be any in-school teaching until next school year,” he said, adding it’s difficult to predict the effects of the pandemic from one moment to the next. “It’s a shame not to use our building, but it’s out of our control.”
Stelson’s resignation was approved during the school board’s regular meeting Oct. 20. According to the bylaws pertaining to vacancies, the board will seek a replacement to serve the remainder of Stelson’s term, or through June 30, 2021.
“I hope you all will interview and pick someone to make you all happy that lives in Seaside full time and can be an active supporter of your efforts,” Stelson told the board.