“Over the past 18 months or so, it has become increasingly apparent that I have a very different philosophy about school district operations than that being used in Park County School District No. 1,” Heny said during the Tuesday board meeting. “The stress of trying so hard to meet the needs of students and the community, as well as treating staff with honor and respect, has become too great for me to continue.”
Heny’s resignation comes within weeks of the board’s decision to terminate her son, Mike Heny, as the head coach of the Powell High School boys’ basketball team.
Following that vote last month, Heny left the meeting, saying, “I don’t approve of any of this.”
There was no mention of the coach’s termination during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Heny’s resignation is effective June 30. Her decision came with sadness, she said.
“It has been an honor and a privilege, as well as very rewarding, to act on behalf of Powell citizens through this service,” Heny said, thanking those who elected her.
Heny was first elected in 2006, then again in 2010. Before becoming a school board trustee, Heny worked for the district for 32 years.
She started in 1972 as an aide, and eventually became the secretary for the school board and superintendent in 1979. She held the position for 26 years, retiring in June 2004.
Board Chairman Rob McCray thanked Heny for her many years of service to the district after the board accepted Heny’s resignation Tuesday.
Heny said she hopes to continue her association with schools by volunteering.
“I will always be an advocate for teachers, those who help them in their work, and students of all types,” she said. “Perhaps I can be of more service from a community standpoint than as an insider. I fully intend to do just that.”
Heny’s seat doesn’t go up for election until 2014, so the board will appoint someone to finish out her term, which ends Dec. 1, 2014.
Those living within the boundaries of School District No. 1 can apply, and the board will then interview candidates.
Board members plan to choose a replacement during the July 17 meeting, McCray said. He said he hopes it’s a smooth transition for the board.
During the last election in November, the school board race saw tough competition, with nine candidates seeking three seats. The top six candidates finished within about 5 percentage points of one another.
“With as much activity as there was in that race in November, we hope to see the same interest as we saw then among people who want to get involved in education,” McCray said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Heny read portions of two articles about teaching, saying she wanted to specifically address teachers.
“Of late your profession has been maligned at a national and state level, and even at the local level,” she said. “Be assured that you are the backbone and lifeblood of this district, and the reason we in Powell have so much success.
“It is a terrible shame that you are not recognized for the great things you do for kids. Evidently, you are expected to solve society’s problems within a seven-hour, 175-day time frame.”
Heny said she will miss working with teachers and support staff, and she also enjoyed the camaraderie of students, parents and staff.
Heny also encouraged local involvement in education.
“I hope many community members will become deeply involved in school affairs, so they know what is going on,” Heny said.
Heny did not return the Tribune’s request for further comment by press time Wednesday.