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School board chair resigns

In a matter of days, District 192 School Board chair Bob Heman went from board candidate to former board member.

Heman, who served 11 years on the board in two separate periods, announced plans last week to resign from the board. Board members officially accepted his resignation at their regular meeting Monday night.

Heman served on the board from 1994 through 2001 and ran again in 2006, when he and fellow board alumnus John Kampf filed at the last minute to ensure there would be enough candidates on the ballot to fill all of the available seats.

During Monday's meeting Heman said serving on the board was taking too much time.

When filing for this year's school board election closed Heman was one of eight candidates set to compete in the Nov. 2 election.

But Heman said the demands of the job caused him to reconsider. Heman announced his decision to resign last week in an e-mail to board members and followed up with a phone call to vice-chair Veronica Walter, who will fill in as chair for the remainder of 2010.

Walter, who is also up for re-election this fall, said she wasn't entirely surprised by Heman's decision.

"I just think that this was a decision that was very personal for him," said Walter, who praised Heman for providing a lot of guidance for her in her first two years on the board. "I respect it and I thank him for helping me along as much as he did when he was here."

Heman did not return phone calls seeking comment about his decision.

Board member Julie McKnight, who served with Heman in both of his stints on the board, said her colleague's decision caught her by surprise. But she said Heman did a lot for the district.

"He was a great, no-nonsense, common-sense, dedicated public servant," McKnight said. "He was grounded. When you're on the school board there's a lot of -- I don't know if hype is the right word. There's a lot of things that come at you and you have to learn to weed through that and get to the facts."Heman did that, she said.

McKnight said she was disappointed to see Heman leave before the end of his term but that she understood his decision.

"You have to take care of yourself first," she said. "If this is what's best for him, then I want that more than anything."

The school board will discuss at its next regular meeting how to fill Heman's position through the end of the year. McKnight said the board will ask former board members if they are interested in stepping in for the next four months. If nobody agrees, the board will consider other options.

With Heman's decision to withdraw there will be seven candidates on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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