SCHOOL BOARD (copy)

Mary Burke, former president of the Madison School Board, announced her resignation from the body on Friday. 

Mary Burke announced Friday she's stepping down from her position on the Madison School Board after seven years. 

Burke, who was first elected to the board in 2012, said in a statement her departure comes as her "personal and professional commitments do not allow me the time and energy needed to fulfill my term." 

"I have faith that the Board will hire a great new superintendent, pass a transformative referendum and continue towards fulfilling our mission of every student graduating college, career and community ready," she said in a statement. 

Burke, who previously served as president of the board, decided not to run again for president earlier this year. Her current term expires in April 2021.

Gloria Reyes, the board's current head and former deputy mayor, praised Burke in a statement as "a steady leader on this board, an advocate for public education, a mentor, and a dedicated public servant.”

Burke's departure comes as current Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham is poised to step down later this summer to take a faculty position at Harvard University’s School of Education. The board has tapped Jane Belmore, a retired MMSD teacher and administrator, to serve as the interim superintendent.

Burke also previously ran for governor in 2014, served as Wisconsin's Commerce Department secretary under former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and was a former executive for Trek Bicycle Corp

A Madison School District spokeswoman said in a statement the board will discuss the process of filling Burke's seat at its meeting Monday night. 

With Burke's resignation effective immediately, the spokeswoman said Burke isn't planning to attend that meeting. 

Board policy shows a vacancy will be filled by appointment from the remaining members within 60 days. The appointee, who must be at least 18 years old and reside in the district, could then hold the position until a successor is elected and takes office. 

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