BUCKHANNON – Upshur County Board of Education member Pat Long has resigned.
During the Upshur County Board of Education’s special meeting to set goals, mission and vision Thursday, Sept. 1, Long resigned. He read aloud his letter of resignation, which stated he was resigning due immediately due to family obligations that required his attention.
In a phone interview, Long told My Buckhannon he submitted his resignation during Thursday’s special meeting.
“I have too many family obligations to juggle, and the board was one of those things I can control; I can be on the board or not,” Long said. “I cannot run away from my family obligations, and I have decided the board needs to go.”
Long said with the addition of several new Upshur County Board of Education members, he feels comfortable with his decision to resign.
“I feel the new board members are quite ready to lead the county for the next three or four years,” Long said. “They are all very accomplished educators, and I felt like it was an easy thing for me to do. I hate doing it because I love working on the board, but sometimes you have to make hard decisions.”
Long said his resignation is effective immediately. He was last elected to the Upshur County BOE in June 2020, officially took office on July 1, 2020, and represented District 2. Long has made his home in Upshur County for more than 60 years and his wife, Susan, retired from teaching fifth grade at Union Elementary School.
Following Thursday’s meeting, Upshur County Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Debra Harrison said she was sad to hear of Long’s resignation.
“I am extremely sorry that Mr. Long is resigning from the Upshur County Board of Education, but I certainly understand his reasons for doing so,” Harrison told My Buckhannon. “He has been an invaluable member of the Board, making his decisions, casting his votes, always [prioritizing] what was best for our students, our staff and the Upshur County School system. His guidance, wisdom and years of Board experience will be a serious loss for Upshur County Schools, and he will be missed. The Board now has the difficult task of trying to fill his shoes.”
Upshur County BOE President Dr. Tammy Samples said the board has 45 days to appoint someone to replace Long, adding the BOE has not yet had time to vote on the process.
Samples said Long will be missed on the Upshur County BOE.
“We are losing a plethora of school board knowledge with his departure,” Samples said. “He has served the students and staff of Upshur County well during multiple terms as a board member. We wish him well as he focuses on his family.”