Presiding over her final meeting as a member of the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education, Laura Jens-Smith said an emotional goodbye to her fellow board members and administrators Thursday evening.
The resignation of Ms. Jens-Smith, who will be sworn in as the first female supervisor of Riverhead Town Jan. 1, goes into effect Friday. She had served on the board of education since 2011.
“I want to let you know — I’m going to cry — how proud I am to have served on the board for the past seven years,” she said. “You guys have all been a terrific board to work with. We’ve accomplished a lot in this district and I know that you’ll keep this district moving forward and on the right track.”
Presenting her with flowers, fellow board member Charles Anderson, who will take over as president and superintendent Anne Smith commended Ms. Jens-Smith for her years of dedication to the board.
“Laura was eventually elected the president of the board of education because she showed the other board members she had the potential to lead,” Mr. Anderson said. “She has held that position with the dedication, knowledge and hard work that a leader must possess in order to be successful.”
The board now has three options to fill Ms. Jens-Smith’s vacant seat. They can hold a special election within 90 days of her resignation or appoint someone to fill the remainder of her term. The third option is to leave her seat open until the May 2018 election, keeping the board at six members instead of seven.
The board is expected to discuss those options at its January meeting.
The inauguration of Ms. Jens-Smith, whose school board term was set to expire in June, is planned for noon Monday, Jan. 1 at Pulaski Street School in Riverhead.
“I want to, on behalf of the administrative team, officially thank Laura Jens-Smith for her leadership and commitment to the families and communities of Mattituck, Cutchogue and Laurel,” Dr. Smith said. “I’m really proud to be part of this team under Laura’s leadership.”