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Here’s what we know about the Richardson ISD school board president resigning

School boards have been under intense pressure during the pandemic

Richardson school board president Karen Clardy resigned suddenly Friday, sending a short letter to fellow trustees noting she would step down immediately.

“I have made the difficult decision to step down from Richardson ISD School Board, effective immediately,” she wrote. “I have been a part of RISD for 32 years and I have had the privilege to work alongside many wonderful parents, teachers and staff. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our students.”

Here’s what we know so far:

Why did she resign

Clardy hasn’t yet issued a statement explaining why she decided to step down. But her move comes at a particularly fraught time for Richardson ISD and school board members generally.

Richardson trustees have been under immense pressure from community members related to their coronavirus protocols, which includes a mask mandate. The district temporarily closed a school because of a high number of cases and after a sixth grader was placed in the intensive care unit.

RISD is in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting mask mandates. Attorney General Ken Paxton recently filed a lawsuit against the district over its requirement.

Who is Karen Clardy

Clardy was elected to the board in 2017, shortly after retiring from her job in the district. Her most recent job within RISD was as the executive assistant at Lake Highlands High School, the alma mater of her two adult children. She sponsored several groups there, including Student Council.

As part of the district, she won several awards including an inaugural RISD Excellence in Education Champion Award. Her term was set to expire in May 2022.

What happens on the board now?

The rest of the RISD trustees will discuss Clardy’s resignation at their next meeting. Remaining trustees could decide to appoint another board member to fill the remainder of her term or hold a special election to do so..

There are seven seats on Richardson ISD’s board. Trustees are unpaid elected officials.

The DMN Education Lab deepens the coverage and conversation about urgent education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, The Meadows Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University and Todd A. Williams Family Foundation. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of the Education Lab’s journalism.

Talia Richman, Staff writer. Talia is a reporter for The Dallas Morning News Education Lab. A Dallas native, she attended Richardson High School and graduated from the University of Maryland. She previously covered schools and City Hall for The Baltimore Sun.

talia.richman@dallasnews.com @talirichman
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