Sacramento City Unified School District trustee Ellyne Bell will step down from the school board at the end of the year after completing two years of her four-year term.
Bell announced during Thursday's school board meeting that she would be giving her 60-day deferred resignation. After taking a job in San Francisco six months ago, Bell said she plans to relocate there at the beginning of the year.
"The work is increasing all the time and to run an organization and do this work to the best of my ability, I need to commit to being here in the city," said Bell, executive director of the SAGE Project, an anti-human trafficking organization.
Bell was elected to the Sacramento City board in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. The school board can appoint her replacement or hold a special election.
Bell said she hopes the board appoints someone to complete her term so that the district does not have to pay for a costly special election. Bell represents Area 1, which includes Land Park, downtown, midtown and Curtis Park.
Four trustee terms ended this year; however, no one ran against Diana Rodriguez in Area 5 and Gustavo Arroyo in Area 4.
In Area 3, which includes Rosemont, three candidates are vying for Donald Terry's seat: Eric Sunderland, Mark A. Ambrose and Christina Pritchett.
Terry is not seeking re-election but instead is running for Rancho Cordova City Council.
In Area 7, which includes Oak Park and Hollywood Park, incumbent Patrick Kennedy faces Ralph Merletti.
Bell said she hopes her seat will go to a parent and not someone interested in using the district as a political steppingstone.
"It was a hard decision because I care deeply about the school district," Bell said.
Bell said that during her six-year tenure, she is most proud of having been involved in creating a governance model for the school district.
"It's great that our district has moved into a more whole-child focus, and that is a result of our strategic plan and strategic thinking by our staff," Bell said.
Bell said she leaves knowing she did not accomplish the task that originally caused her to run for the board: removing Sacramento Charter High from the Sacramento High campus.
"I needed other board members to fight that battle with me and the community," Bell said. "That has to come from the community if they want it to happen. I tried to champion that."