David Brooks, a longtime Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustee, announced Tuesday that he plans to step down, citing time constraints and frequent travel with a charitable organization.
Brooks, a retired Costa Mesa police captain, has represented the Estancia High School zone since April 1998. His term officially ends in 2016, but his last day will be March 11.
He is involved in Voice of China and Asia, a missionary society, which requires lengthy travel.
This other obligation made continuing to serve on the school board difficult, Brooks said.
"I want to put more time and effort doing the traveling I need to do," he said Wednesday. "Traveling makes it difficult to be in town for board meetings, committees, site visits and all the other things that we're required to do on the board."
The board will decide Jan. 28 whether it will appoint a new trustee or hold a special election.
It isn't unusual for the board to appoint someone to fill a vacant trustee spot, Brooks said.
He was first appointed to the board in 1998 and maintained his position through elections.
Brooks cited several district successes during his time on the board, including improving curriculum and passing two school bonds, measures A and F, which provide funds for facility improvements at the district's schools.
"The board is doing so well right now that it seems like a good time to make this move," he said.
Several board members thanked Brooks for his dedication before ending the discussion with a standing ovation.
"You've spent a lot of years serving the public," Trustee Katrina Foley said of Brooks' time as a police officer and trustee. "It's hard for people to sacrifice their personal time and their family time to serve the public."