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Richardson ISD School Board President Karen Clardy has resigned. She officially notified Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone and fellow board members in a letter this morning.

“I have made the difficult decision to step down from the Richardson ISD School Board, effective immediately,” Clardy wrote. “I have been a part of RISD for 32 years and I have had the privilege to work alongside many wonderful parents, teachers and staff. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our students.

“I would also like to thank the many people who have supported me during my two terms as an RISD trustee.”

Clardy’s current term expires in May of 2022. She did not provide a reason for her departure, but education observers have witnessed an increase in the frequency and vitriol of personal attacks upon education officials by some attendees at board meetings and on social media.

Clardy began her career in education with a job at Lake Highlands High School. She retired in 2016 after 25 years, then filed to run as an RISD trustee in 2017. She is currently serving her second term as president, and she represents single member District 5, the area around LHHS.

Vice-President Regina Harris is expected to step into Clardy’s role as board president, but it’s not yet clear whether the board will appoint someone to fill her seat or hold it open until the May election.

Clardy was awarded the PTA’s Life Membership, Extended Service Award and Wildcat Award. She earned the inaugural RISD Excellence in Education Champion Award, and the Exchange Club of Lake Highlands named her an Unsung Hero. The loss of her experience, energy and dedication will be felt by the district for years to come.