(Photo provided by Mork for KCAW’s 2022 Election Coverage)

Sitka school board member Mitch Mork is stepping down from his seat on the board, due to scheduling conflicts.

Mork was appointed to the school board last summer to fill a vacant seat and won a new three-year term in this fall’s municipal elections. 

In an email to KCAW, Mork said that conflicting obligations during typical board meeting times were a big factor in his decision to resign.

“Over the last 6 months, I was often left with the choice of working with kids directly or working with the school board to benefit kids. Initially, I chose the school board but felt terrible canceling events for kids. Since the board understands the benefits of working with kids directly, I began to choose working with kids. The board would try to schedule around these activities but this was a struggle,” Mork wrote.

“Although we normally found a way to squeeze time between events, we often had to delay meetings or allow me to leave early/arrive late. On many occasions this resulted in all or part of meetings occurring without me,” he continued. “I am stepping down so someone with less conflicting obligations during the school board’s busy season can do a better job supporting the team’s efforts.”

The Sitka School Board has begun meeting more often this winter as it starts its search to replace Superintendent Frank Hauser who submitted his resignation in February, effective at the end of June. The board is also reckoning with the prospect of layoffs as it weathers a budget crunch.

The board accepted Mork’s resignation last night (3-20-23) after it met in an executive session to discuss next steps in the superintendent hiring process.

The board will be accepting letters of interest for Mork’s seat through Monday, March 27 until 4 p.m. The candidates will be announced on March 28, and will be interviewed at the regular school board meeting on April 5. The appointed candidate will serve on the board until the October 3 election.