January 14, 2002 11:00 pm
Sandra Roth ().
Sandra Roth ().

By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

Citing differences with fellow board members and the school district superintendent, Sandra Roth has resigned from the La Grande School Board.

Roth, who served for 2 1/2 years, is the second board member to resign in less than four weeks. Shari Bennett stepped down on Dec. 20 after serving 12 1/2 years following a controversy involving a student grade change and student records.

Roth was a strong supporter of Bennett. She was the only board member who opposed a vote of no confidence against Bennett on Dec. 19.

The controversy involving Bennett and other issues has created a tense atmosphere at meetings since August. Roth is upset with the way people have been treated.

The lack of leadership, professionalism, honesty and civility by the superintendent and the school board has tested the limits of my ethics and values and makes it necessary for me to resign from the La Grande School Board, Roth said in a written statement.

Superintendent Dan Arriola declined to comment this morning on Roths resignation.

School Board Chairman Ron Arritola had no comment when he was contacted today.

Despite the turmoil of recent months Roth said that deciding to resign was difficult.

It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision, she said.

Roth described her time on the board as educational.

It was a very tough time but I learned a lot, Roth said. I am glad I did serve on the board and appreciated the opportunity to.

Roth plans to stay connected to the school district by continuing to work as a volunteer. She plays cribbage with students at Willow Elementary School and helps referee and put on high school swim meets.

I love the students of the La Grande School District and the staff and faculty, Roth said. I hope that our schools remain excellent.

Roth said she enjoyed helping with the development of the school districts strategic design plan for the future. She was pleased with how involved the community was in the process.

It (the process) focused our energy on what is best for kids, Roth said.

Roth had a year and a half remaining on her term. The La Grande School Board will vote on the acceptance of Roths resignation when it meets Wednesday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the board room of the administration building.

Roths statement, explaining her resignation, will be published in a guest column on Wednesdays opinion page.

You can reach Dick Mason at

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