Ketchikan School Board President Trevor Shaw has resigned his position, effective at noon Monday, ending the citizen-led initiative to recall him from office.
When the completed recall petition was submitted and certified earlier in August, Shaw said he was looking into challenging it through the courts. In a telephone interview on Monday, though, he said the community and school board needed one less controversy to deal with.
Trevor Shaw said the decision to resign was made with careful consideration, and ultimately was about making the right choice for Ketchikan.
“This decision is not all about me,” he said. “Because one of the biggest things is, well, right now the school district is facing a lot of contentious issues, issues that require a lot of focus and essentially no distraction.”
Shaw noted two issues in particular: ongoing teacher contract negotiations and the investigation into a former teacher charged with sexual assault of a minor.
The investigation will look at the school district’s response to complaints about Doug Edwards.
“Part of my reasoning from ultimately stepping down from the board is to kind of remove some of the, hopefully some of the contention, the distraction, and just so people can focus, the board and the community, can focus on getting these issues resolved,” he said.
The recall’s stated grounds for seeking to remove Shaw from office was an alleged violation of school board bylaws. But there were many other concerns raised by recall sponsors. The primary complaint was a sense that Shaw was not listening to the public.
Shaw said he’s willing to admit when he’s made a mistake, and he’s learned a lesson from the recall process: “It’s not that I stopped listening, but: Always keep an open mind in what people are telling you, and always remember the perspective.”
According to an email from Borough Clerk Kacie Paxton, Shaw’s resignation means the recall vote will not be placed on the Oct. 2 local election ballot.
His resignation is too late for his seat to be on the ballot, so the school board will have to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. That must happen within 30 days, which means it will take place before the local election.
Shaw is the Republican candidate for the state House District 36 seat, and will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Shaw said he remains committed to that race.
“It’s not about politics, it’s not about personality; it’s about policies and the issues,” he said. “I’ll continue to talk to folks in District 36, and say: This is where I am on the issues, this is what I’ve done, this is the track record that I have, this is why I decided to step down from the board and this is what I’d like to do moving forward.”
Shaw is running against incumbent Dan Ortiz, who is unaffiliated; and Democrat Ghert Abbott.