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Goldwyn Resigns From School Board : Education: The president, who narrowly won reelection, said she quit because she perceives a change in philosophy in the new panel.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

School board President Peggy Goldwyn sent shock waves throughout the Beverly Hills education community by announcing Wednesday that she is resigning from the board.

Goldwyn, who was barely reelected in the Nov. 5 election, said she decided to resign because of what she perceives as a change in philosophy from the current board, starting with a disagreement over how board offices are rotated among the members.

“I ran for reelection to give continuity to the board in terms of leadership,” she said. “They obviously feel there is no need for that. It’s not important to them, but that was the reason for my running. I don’t have a reason anymore.”

Traditionally, the titles of president and vice president are bestowed on board members based on seniority. Goldwyn would become president of the new board in two years based on seniority.

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But during an informal meeting last week of the five people who will make up the new board, it was proposed that tradition be set aside. Board rules state only that officers be elected by fellow board members.

The new board will be installed at the district’s organizational meeting Tuesday. Goldwyn’s resignation takes effect the next day. Her spot can be filled either by appointment or special election, according to board member Dana Tomarken.

District officials will meet this week to decide which option to take, Tomarken said. An election would cost the district $60,000, she added.

Tomarken is the only current board member who has a seat on the new board. Phillip Harris, Lillian Raffel and Richard Stone won their seats out of a field of 16 candidates and will be installed Tuesday.

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Goldwyn waged a low-key campaign in her bid for a four-year term. She barely squeaked past the next highest vote-getter, AJ Willmer. Official results show Goldwyn with 1,583 votes and Willmer with 1,562.

Tomarken said that although a compromise on filling offices could not be reached, she does not think that the new board will have problems getting along.

“I did not see any malicious intent behind this,” she said. “I believe (the new members) come from diverse components of the community, but no one would run for this type of office without fully intending to support education. I don’t foresee any problems.”

Tomarken said Goldwyn’s talents as an orator, her intelligence, and her tireless support of education will be missed.

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Retiring board member Frank Fenton was taken aback by Goldwyn’s announcement.

“I’m just totally disappointed in every respect,” he said. “I’m as surprised as everybody else is.”


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