Whitehall City School District leaders are acting swiftly to appoint a successor to school board Vice President Joy Bivens after her April 23 resignation.

Interested applicants should send a letter of interest and a resume to the office of Superintendent Brian Hamler by noon Monday, April 23, said Ty Debevoise, director of communications and marketing for Whitehall schools.

The district anticipates appointing a new board member during the May 10 meeting, Debevoise said.

Bivens said she decided she had to step down because of "increasing job responsibilities," which include regular trips to Washington, D.C.

"It has been an honor serving the students, families and staff of Whitehall," she said.

Bivens was appointed to the board in April 2013 to replace Ronda Howard.

She was elected in November of the same year to fill the remaining two years of Howard's term, and was re-elected in 2015 to a full four-year term.

Bivens' current term expires Dec. 31, 2019.

Board members accepted Bivens' resignation at their April 12 session.

While the board will name her successor, Hamler said April 13 he expects the new board member will be "a community member who is passionate about supporting our students and their families."

Bivens is the director of Franklin County Job and Family Services and was more recently named to the National Association of Counties' Health and Human Services and Education Committee. She travels frequently to Washington as an advocate and "a voice on policy" to help families escape poverty, she said.

Bivens thanked the board, whom she called "extended family," along with the administration, teachers, staff and students for their support during her five years on the board.

Hamler said Bivens has "served with the best interest of our students and families at the forefront of her thinking."

"(Bivens) advocated for a rigorous curriculum and high expectations for our students while challenging us to think creatively (and) advocated for the importance of diversity," Hamler said.

"She is a champion for education (and) it has been a pleasure working with her."