Scarborough School Board member to resign

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SCARBOROUGH — Citing health reasons, first-term School Board member Aymie Hardesty said she will resign this week, about six months before the completion of the term she won in 2010.

“I just don’t feel like I can give my all,” Hardesty said Tuesday. “I really love this community and these people and have fought hard for them, even before I was on the School Board.”

Hardesty said she will deliver a resignation letter to School Board Chairwoman Christine Massengill on Friday. Although the board can call for a special election, Hardesty’s seat can remain vacant because she is resigning fewer than six months before the scheduled Nov. 5 election.

Hardesty, 43, of Saratoga Lane, was unable to attend School Board meetings for several months, and said there are more immediate concerns requiring her focus.

“I need to take care of my children, my family and my health,” she said.

A mother of six who has worked in commercial banking and as a preschool teacher, Hardesty drew attention in 2010 when she worked to improve conditions at Wentworth School. She confronted school officials about air-quality issues she said were causing respiratory problems for staff and students at the school.

“All I wanted was a healthy environment,” Hardesty said.

In 2011, voters approved a $39 million bond to build a new Wentworth. The school is expected to open for the 2014-2015 school year.

Hardesty said her decision to run for the School Board was made quickly in 2010, in part because she was asked to run by former state Rep. Peggy Pendleton, D-Scarborough.

“I had two days to get my signatures,” Hardesty said.

Serving on the School Board was enjoyable, she said, requiring attention to detail in a wide scope of issues.

“There are so many projects and things we want to do and are just not able to. But people pore over those numbers,” Hardesty said. “When you put it on the public plate, they don’t see every category has been pored over line by line by line.”

She said she also enjoyed working with her board colleagues.

“I enjoyed the different personalities and approach to education. I just really enjoyed learning different perspectives,” she said. “Everybody should serve somewhere at least once in their life.”

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.