Citing an increase in work-related obligations and a career move, Richard Bird announced today, Oct. 22, that he is resigning from the Westerville Board of Education.

“Over the past few years I have been speaking more frequently around the country,” he said. “In the last two years in particular, I have been on approximately 30 to 35 platforms delivering keynote addresses in the cyber-security community.

“Unexpectedly, and as a result of these activities, I’ve been presented with a career opportunity and will be transitioning over the next few months to that position, in Colorado,” he said.

As a result, Bird said, the Oct. 22 meeting would be his last as a member of the school board.

Bird was appointed to the board in 2014 to fulfill the unexpired term of Cindy Crowe, who resigned from the seat as she entered the final stages of her battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Bird subsequently ran for election as the only sitting board member during the November 2015 general election.

He was the top vote-getter of four candidates vying for two open spots on the board.

“I think I speak for my fellow board members when I say we are sad to hear this news, but we certainly understand your decision,” said Gerrie Cotter, board president. “Your insight, willingness to stand up for our children, and unwavering support for public education will be missed.

“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to work with you on many initiatives that have benefitted this district and wish you all the best in your future endeavors,” Cotter said.

Bird said some of his most memorable accomplishments include being part of a board that ended the Win-Win agreement with Columbus City Schools permanently, serving as the board’s liaison when negotiating for the land in Minerva Park and witnessing the completion of major improvements the board authorized for Pointview Elementary School.

“Most importantly,” Bird said, “it has been an honor to serve on such a great board of education with colleagues that I truly respect and who have become good friends since I was appointed.”

The board soon will announce an application process for those interested in fulfilling Bird’s unexpired term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2019.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years of age, residents of the school district and registered voters.