Natalie Sheppard is leaving the Rochester Board of Education to join the Monroe County Board of Elections.
Board President Van White said Sheppard informed the board of her decision on Thursday. She joins the Board of Elections as a deputy to new Democratic Commissioner Jackie Ortiz. White expects a resignation letter from Sheppard sometime Friday.
Sheppard’s resignation leaves an opening on the school board that White said needs to be filled in about a month.
“In any loss for any institution, any change, there’s an opportunity for future growth,” said White.
How the board intends to replace Sheppard is unclear. White said the seventh board member must be chosen by at least four current board members.
In the past, White said the board has taken applications and resumes from interested community members but he said that hasn’t been decided. He expects to meet with the rest of the Board of Education next week about what procedure the board should take.
One trait White is looking for in a replacement is a passion for Rochester.
“This is something that requires a long-term commitment whether you’re on the board or not,” said White. “For me, personally, it would be good to have a candidate that has some interest in this issue or certainly in the lives and future of city residents.”
White said Sheppard's successor would need four of the six remaining votes on the board in order to be installed. The new board member would finish Sheppard’s term which ends next year.