EVERETT — Everett School board director Ted Wenta has resigned to focus on his health.
Wenta was diagnosed with kidney cancer in September 2016. Fighting the disease has limited his ability to serve the board, he said.
“The district deserves a full-time director,” Wenta said.
Working as a director was a rewarding experience, he said.
“I considered it a real privilege to serve on the school board,” he said. “If the Lord blesses me in that way, I’d be more than happy” to serve the district in the future.
Wenta was a tireless advocate for students, families and staff, Superintendent Gary Cohn said in a news release.
“I am grateful to have worked with and for a board member of Ted Wenta’s caliber,” he said.
Board President Caroline Mason said she and fellow directors were deeply saddened to hear the news.
“Ted has brought a thoughtful voice and valued leadership to the school board and his presence will truly be missed,” she said.
Wenta’s absence means the board must appoint someone to serve the last year of his term.
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, directors adopted a timeline to name Wenta’s successor.
Applications to fill the seat are due to the district by Aug. 24, with two meetings in early September to vet candidates.
The goal is to have the new director start at the Sept. 25 board meeting.
Elected in 2013, Wenta served as director and then board president for about a year and a half before his illness caused him to take a reduced role. He had served as a director since.
Cohn said Wenta played a key role in the passing of a 2016 technology levy that funded a project to provide a laptop or tablet to every district student by 2021.
“I think that was a signature event,” Wenta said.
Before his departure, Wenta was working on a 2018 bond measure that would provide funding for a fourth district high school.
Wenta said the district is in good hands with the remaining members and superintendent.
”There’s still work to be done and I look forward to watching this district in the future,” he said.
Wenta is the vice president of operations of the YMCA of Snohomish County. He said his role there isn’t changing.
The organization’s new $33 million building is in the early stages of construction.
“This is a very important time for the Everett YMCA,” Wenta said.