Midlothian District representative Patricia M. Carpenter submitted her resignation from the Chesterfield County School Board on Friday, Oct. 25, citing pressing health concerns. The resignation is effective immediately.
“It has been an honor to serve as a member of the Chesterfield County School Board representing the Midlothian District. I can never adequately thank the citizens of Midlothian for placing their confidence in me, especially during a time when our School System has faced so many challenges,” Mrs. Carpenter wrote in a resignation letter to her colleagues.
“Unfortunately, I have recently been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) which no longer allows me to devote the time and energy that serving on the School Board requires and which the community — and our students — deserve. … In consultation with my family and physician, I have decided that I must focus on improving and regaining my health.”
Mrs. Carpenter, who currently serves as the vice chair of the School Board and has in the past served as its chair, acknowledged the decision to step down was a difficult one but that it is in her and her family’s best interests.
“My fellow board members and I are appreciative of the service Mrs. Carpenter has provided to the residents of the Midlothian District, and for that matter all of Chesterfield County, since first being elected to the School Board in 2007. Specifically, her efforts in policy development have moved the school system into the 21st century,” said School Board Chair David S. Wyman. “Given her active engagement with the students, teachers and administration of our schools, I can only imagine how difficult it was to make this decision. But health and family come first, and we fully support Mrs. Carpenter’s decision.”
The remaining School Board members will within 45 days appoint a qualified voter from the Midlothian District to hold the office until the voters of that district fill the vacancy by special election. The board will discuss the process of naming an interim representative from the Midlothian District at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 12. The School Board also will authorize the School Board attorney to petition the Chesterfield County Circuit Court to issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy. Because the vacancy has occurred within 90 days of the next general election on Nov. 5, 2013, the special election will be held no later than the next general election in November 2014.
Mrs. Carpenter was first elected to the Chesterfield County School Board in 2007. A graduate of Post University in Middlebury, Conn., Mrs. Carpenter holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and an associate degree in merchandising. Before being elected to the School Board, Mrs. Carpenter owned Sabai of Virginia, a spa products company. She also was employed for many years in marketing and business management and has worked as a substitute teacher.
A longtime volunteer in Chesterfield schools and with the Bettie Weaver Elementary School PTA, Mrs. Carpenter was chair of Citizens for Chesterfield Students during the 2004 bond referendum.
“In an age where consensus is hard to build, her efforts led to an 87.3 percent ‘yes’ vote on the 2004 school bond issue,” Mr. Wyman said. “She was able to galvanize support for our schools and maintained that passion for supporting students and staff during her time on the School Board.”
A mother of two Chesterfield County students, Mrs. Carpenter said she plans to remain involved in education-related issues moving forward.
“I remain committed to our community and its children, and will continue to do what I can to help ensure that Chesterfield remains one of the best communities in the country to raise a family,” Mrs. Carpenter said.