SLO County school board searching for new member after unexpected resignation

Mackenzie Shuman/

An Atascadero school board member suddenly announced her resignation earlier this month leaving a seat open just months before the election.

Atascadero Unified School District Trustee Mary Kay Mills posted on her personal Facebook page on Aug. 2 that she’d sent her letter of resignation to the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education. She plans to officially leave the board on Sept. 1, according to the post.

“I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all the opportunities I have had the past eight years as a trustee for AUSD,” the post read. “I might try to plan my steps, but God directs my paths and He led me down this one! I want to publicly thank all my supporters, friends, and family for their support, especially the past two years!”

Mills also wrote in the post that she feels “blessed to have small children that need their momma at home,” and that it “has been an honor” to serve on the school board.

Mills, who also runs Rocky Canyon Kennels in Atascadero, was first elected to the school board in 2014 for a two-year term.

She ran again in 2016 and 2020, and won both elections. Her current term runs until 2024.

The school board at its Tuesday evening meeting voted to appoint a new member to fill the vacancy. The new member would serve until 2024 unless a petition is filed for a special election, according to the school district.

The board may appoint a new member who sends in an application by 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19. Applicants must be 18 years old, a citizen and resident of the school district as well as a registered voter and not disqualified from holding a civil office.

Application packets will be available at the school district’s office at 5601 West Mall beginning on Friday, Aug. 19. The district’s office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Candidates will be notified on Friday, Sept. 23, whether they met requirements for an interview.