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Mitnick announces resignation from School Board

Citing multiple medical issues, Suffolk School Board member David Mitnick announced Thursday that he is resigning from the board effective Friday.

Mitnick made the announcement, reading from his letter of resignation during the board’s Jan. 14 meeting, and board members unanimously accepted his resignation. He said his health issues, which include a degenerative neuromuscular disorder, were why he resigned.

“I have had to acknowledge that some symptoms continue to progress, therefore I am in a position of needing to resign,” Mitnick said. “When I ran for reelection in November, I was ignoring the signs that were accumulating. It took me a while to acknowledge that.”

He said he was resigning to preserve his health, and that it was his honor to represent Sleepy Hole Borough, which he has represented since 2015. He ran unopposed in the most recent election.

Board Chairwoman Dr. Judith Brooks-Buck said that while she and Mitnick do not always agree on the issues, “we can disagree without being disagreeable.”

“We have had some times,” Brooks-Buck said. “We have ridden to meetings together, we’ve talked together, we’ve disagreed and agreed.”

She noted the two held a town hall together during a difficult time when there were people mad at them, but “it was successful, and I think we came away thinking different things, but we got it done, and we did it together.”

Brooks-Buck recalled the two sitting beside one another for years at various meetings, including the Pupil Personnel Committee.

“I’m really going to miss you, and I talked to him about whether he really wanted to leave or not,” Brooks-Buck said. “But I understand when it’s your health, and I want you to do the best that you can for you and your wife and family, and spend your time doing what you can for yourself. But I want you to know that you’ve done a good job for us, and we appreciate it.”

Vice Chairwoman Phyllis Byrum said she would miss working with Mitnick. She recalled that he used to drive board members, including herself, to conferences and events, and got to know him better during those times.

“I want to thank you personally for all the devotion you’ve had during the years,” said Byrum, who also noted his volunteer work in the school division. “The teachers and the students are going to really miss you, and I know you’re going to miss that as well.”

Board member Sherri Story said it was “with sorrow” that she voted to accept his resignation. Other board members expressed their appreciation for his service and wished him good health going forward. Several noted his work with the Suffolk Education Foundation, his work in organizing fundraising golf tournaments and spelling bees, and his work in finding scholarships for students and grants for the division’s teachers.