Bryant resigns from St. Charles Dist. 303 School Board

Board Vice-President Carolyn Waibel voices concerns about board members being harassed by residents

A vacancy has emerged on the St. Charles District 303 School Board after the resignation of board member Michael Bryant.

St. Charles School Board President Nick Manheim announced the resignation, which is effective immediately, during the Jan. 11 school board meeting. Bryant was elected to the board in 2019 and his term ends in 2023.

His resignation letter states he was resigning for personal reasons.

“I am proud of the work that this Board has accomplished over the last couple of years and am confident that the current board will continue to guide the district in the right direction,” the letter states. “It has been an honor to serve the students and community of D303.”

The school board has 60 days to fill the vacancy. Information on how to apply for the vacancy can be found by clicking this link on the district’s website, https://district.d303.org/school-board-member-vacancy

Superintendent Jason Pearson outlined the process for board members.

“Basically you can take applications and then as a board, you have the opportunity to review the candidates for the position,” Pearson said. “You can do that in closed session.”

Board members plan to discuss the vacancy at greater length at the school board’s learning and teaching committee meeting Jan. 19.

Manheim said the COVID-19 pandemic will mean changes to the interview process.

Board member Becky McCabe thanked Bryant for his time and service.

“This is not an easy volunteer position at all and I’m thankful to him and his family for the time he was on the board,” she said.

School Board Vice President Carolyn Waibel echoed her comments.

Waibel also voiced concerns about the harassment that school board members are facing these days.

“We took an oath to respect taxpayer interests and respect the free expression of opinion of board members,” Waibel said. “We didn’t take an oath to be harassed in our homes, to be emailed 12 times in two hours, to be called names and hung up on. That’s not what this job is about. We’re here to help.”

Waibel said she is concerned the board will have other vacancies to fill as more board members step down.

“And if it’s not this time, it will be the next cycle,” she said.

She hopes people will look within and think about how they’re treating other people and to “dial down the hate.”

Eric Schelkopf

Eric Schelkopf covers St. Charles and writes entertainment stories for the Kane County Chronicle.