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Three members of the Elizabeth School Board resigned on March 13 leaving Rhonda Olsen and Heather Booth to manage figuring out to reconstitute the panel. (Thelma Grimes, Elbert County News)

This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. Support CCM’s neighborhood news. The Colorado Sun is an owner of CCM.

A meeting that took just 6 minutes Monday night will have an impact on the Elizabeth School District for the next month to a year.

Three members of the rural district resigned effective March 14 as expected.

With the resignations, only two members remain on the board in what is being called an “unprecedented” set of circumstances.

The resigning board members were President Cary Karcher, Vice President Kim Frumveller and Secretary Craig Blackham. The three attended the regular meeting virtually.

Remaining on the board are Rhonda Olsen and Heather Booth — the two board members who attended the meeting in person.

On Monday night, Karcher called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. The board approved the regular agenda items, including the consent agenda and final approval of the contract for the new superintendent.

Starting amid controversy, the district’s new superintendent, Dan Snowberger, officially begins work on Tuesday.

“It is always disappointing when adult issues impact a school district and keep it from focusing on the most important work — ensuring our students receive the best education possible,” Snowberger said in a prepared statement. “After working with board members, I am confident that we will overcome this situation and refocus on our mission. I am excited to join the Elizabeth School District team.”

No public comment was allowed and the board held no discussion on any agenda items. Immediately after the board officially recognized the three resignations, Karcher adjourned the meeting at 6:07 p.m.

After Karcher, Frumerveller and Blackham logged off, Olsen made an announcement to the nearly 50 persons in attendance that applications to fill the open seats would now be accepted.

Now, work has to be done to bring the board to a quorum. The next steps will include reorganizing board leadership, declaring vacancies and filling the open seats over the next 30 days.

Karcher said personal issues and “other board member agendas” are his two primary reasons for ending his service on the board.

“Board member personal agendas created an environment where the board spent more time discussing personnel issues and the presence or prevention of radical left-wing ideologies such as CRT (critical race theory), SEL (social emotional learning) and restorative justice, that do not exist in our district,” Karcher said in the letter dated March 7.

Karcher said board meetings had become “chaotic and have brought behavior unbecoming of the community.”

Frumerville said in the March 7 letter that when she was first elected in 2019, “I loved it.”

“Since the election of 2021, the dynamics of our board changed greatly, and not for the better,” she said. “For my first two years, we never had a complaint that pertained to personality issues. Nothing. And now it seems that my days are consumed with constant issues and lies, the lies never seem to stop.”

All three resigning members said they continue to support right-wing values and have fought against critical race theory and other programs in the schools. However, constant harassment and emails accuse them of “caving to pressure” of local Democratic activists.