REGION 16 — After seven years on the Region 16 Board of Education, Wendy Oliveira has resigned citing personal reasons.
Oliveira, a Democrat from Beacon Falls, submitted her resignation letter Nov. 17. The board, which oversees schools in Beacon Falls and Prospect, accepted her resignation at its Nov. 19 meeting.
“I want to focus on my family and my business right now,” Oliveira said.
Oliveira said the decision was a tough one to make and she enjoyed her time on the board.
“Hopefully, I made a difference in the region and for the district,” she said.
School board Chair Donna Cullen said Oliveira’s resignation is regrettable and she has been an asset for the board. However, Cullen added, she understands that personal reasons come first.
“She’s been an asset. She brought her own take on the community to the board and that was so important,” Cullen said.
Oliveira owns the United Day School, a business based out of the Beacon Falls Congregational Church. The United Day School has run a before and afterschool program at Laurel Ledge Elementary School in Beacon Falls since 2002 — before Oliveira was elected to the board.
Oliveira’s resignation comes at a time when the school board is looking to establish a before and afterschool program for the new Prospect Elementary School, which will open next fall.
The board had discussed expanding the United Day program to Prospect Elementary School, but ultimately went out to bid for a provider to run the program. United Day can bid for the job.
Filling Oliveira’s seat now falls to the town of Beacon Falls.
The Board of Selectmen fills a vacancy for elected positions, with the exception of the Region 16 Board of Education, according to town ordinances. A special town meeting will have to be called to fill the position.
Beacon Falls First Selectmen said last week he has reached out to the heads of the Democratic and Republican town committees for candidates to take Oliveira’s place on the board. He said the hope is to have the seat filled within a month.