LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Jefferson County Board of Education member Benjamin Gies resigned his seat on the school board Monday after accepting a job as a policy principal at Kentucky Youth Advocates, Jefferson County Public Schools announced in a news release.
Gies, who taught history at East Oldham Middle School and was in his first term representing District 4 after his 2016 election, wrote in his resignation letter to Chairwoman Diane Porter that he will focus on early childhood, K-12 and federal education policy in his new role with the non-profit.
The board will declare a vacancy at its July 16 meeting, setting in motion a 60-day process that allows the remaining members to select an applicant to fill the remainder of Gies’s term. Applicants -- who must be 24, be a Kentucky citizen for at least three years, be registered to vote in the school board district and have a high school diploma or GED -- will be solicited during a two-week period within 30 days of the vacancy.
Gies’s decision to step down from the school board came days after a new law took effect allowing local school boards to fill vacancies rather than Kentucky’s education commissioner.
In his resignation letter, Gies called the opportunity “too great to pass up” and credited the school board and JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio for their efforts to reinvigorate a school system “that will bear fruit in a stronger and more prosperous Louisville.”
“I view my new role as a continuation of my service to public education, and to the children of the commonwealth more generally,” he wrote. “While this decision is difficult, I trust in Dr. (Marty) Pollio and our board team to continue the good work we have accomplished together throughout my term in office.”
Porter, in a statement, thanked Gies for his service on the seven-member board and said the remaining members “will work diligently to appoint a qualified candidate to fill his seat.”
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