East Lyme school board member to step down

East Lyme - Board of Education member Christopher Sandford has announced he will resign from the school board following new job commitments.

Sandford, the former principal of North Stonington's Wheeler High School/Middle School, was recently appointed as the headmaster of Woodstock Academy, an independent, secondary school. The position requires him to live in Woodstock during the week, which would limit his "ability to faithfully and successfully serve in (his) capacity as an elected member of the East Lyme Board of Education," he wrote in a Jan. 6 resignation letter to East Lyme's town clerk.

Sandford, a Democrat, has served on the school board since 2011. His term was set to expire in December 2015.

"It was an honor to serve my community," he wrote in the letter. "The members of the Board will be embarking on many significant issues that will impact the entire East Lyme community for years to come. I know that the professionalism and expertise of these members will help guide decisions that will best serve our students and our entire community."

The board will publicly announce the vacancy at Monday's school board meeting for interested parties, said Chairman Timothy Hagen. The town's minority representation statutes require that at least four members of the board are from the minority party, he said.

The town's Democratic Party will likely nominate a representative to the board at a future meeting, and the majority of the board will need to approve the recommendation. The representative will then serve until the term expires.

- Kimberly Drelich

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