Patricia Timm of Beatrice, who has represented Southeast Nebraska's District 5 on the state school board of education for more than 17 years, resigned from her post Friday.
The state school board voted to approve Timm's resignation as part of the consent agenda during Friday's meeting in Lincoln.
“After thoughtful consideration and discussions with my family I am resigning from my position at the Nebraska Board of Education due to personal health reasons,” Timm, 74, said. “It has been an honor and great privilege to serve the students, teachers, and communities in District 5 for the past 17 years.”
The ball is now in Gov. Pete Ricketts court to appoint Timm's replacement in 45 days. The District 5 seat is up for election in November 2022, in which case any appointed member would have to run to keep the position.
The governor could possibly take applications for the seat, like Gov. Mike Johanns did in 2004 when he appointed Timm, a Republican, to the officially nonpartisan board when Steve Scherr resigned to run for the Legislature.
The state school board has come under fire since last spring when the department released proposed health standards, which were criticized for including lessons on gender identity and same-sex family structures under the human growth and development portion.
Hundreds of speakers packed the board's meetings in the ensuing months before the Department of Education stripped the standards of most sex education references this summer and then later shelved the process entirely. Timm was absent from that Sept. 3 meeting.
A former teacher, Timm has been involved in numerous organizations in Beatrice and Gage County, including the Beatrice Family Resource Center, Beatrice Community Hospital and the Region V Behavioral Health Advisory Committee.
"Pat Timm has been an outstanding board member and leader for nearly two decades,” said Commissioner of Education Matthew Blomstedt.” We appreciate all of the work she has done for Nebraska schools and students, and we will miss her passion and dedication to the board.”
District 5, which covers Southeast Nebraska, including portions of Lincoln and Lancaster County, was redrawn last month as part of the Legislature's once-in-a-decade redistricting efforts.
The district now will cover a more significant portion of Lancaster County and Lincoln itself — roughly from Nebraska 2 south — while losing Cass, Otoe, Johnson and Nemaha counties. Areas in Lancaster County north of Nebraska 33 and west of U.S. 77 fell under District 5 under the old map.
District 5 also now covers Franklin and Webster counties in south-central Nebraska.