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Raboin resigns from board

Newly elected Superior School Board member Leah Raboin resigned Monday before serving at a single meeting. Raboin decided after filing but prior to the election not to keep her position for medical reasons. "At this particular time, I'm going to ...

Newly elected Superior School Board member Leah Raboin resigned Monday before serving at a single meeting.

Raboin decided after filing but prior to the election not to keep her position for medical reasons.

"At this particular time, I'm going to focus on my health ... and my family," she said.

Raboin was elected to the school board April 3 to take over a seat being vacated by board president Dave Tunell, who did not seek reelection.

Christina Kintop also was re-elected to the board that day. Both ran unopposed.

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Raboin, 31, has been battling cancer for several years. After completing radiation treatment a year ago Raboin's cancer went into remission. She decided to pursue a spot on the board and began attending meetings.

A friend's experience with cancer made Raboin rethink that decision.

Raboin apologized for any problems her resignation might cause but said she must get further along toward recovery before committing to a board position.

"I really thank everyone who voted for me," she said. "I'm 31, and I've been dealing with this cancer since I was 19."

The school board will most likely appoint someone to fill Raboin's chair for one year until the next election, Tunell said.

Most likely they'll open the search up to see if anyone is interested in serving on the board, he said.

The last board vacancy occurred when Louis Thompson died in April 2003.

At that time the board asked members of the public to come forward. Three did and Kintop was appointed to a one-year term.

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"That's what I'd recommend they do," Tunell said.

Board members were excited Raboin was running for the position and happy to see her at the meetings. They started to become concerned when she stopped turning up a few months before the election.

"There were board members who wanted to call her up right away and ask her what's going on. I said ... 'no she needs to work that out,'" Tunell said. "I think she would have done a nice job. She had the right motivation."

Raboin, a mother of three, decided to run for the board to become more involved in her community.

Two of Raboin's children attend Cooper Elementary School the third is only 2. She also runs a home-based business, Candles by Leah, making candles and selling them online, by mail and word-of-mouth.

She said she's learned a lot through her campaign by attending board meetings.

"The people on the school board deserve credit because they are in charge of a lot of important decisions," she said. "It is an involved job."

Raboin said she would like to see Tunell step back into her position.

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Tunell said board members have asked him if he'd consider returning, but he left the board because he can no longer honor the time commitment it requires. That reason for leaving hasn't gone away.

It's a big learning curve to join the school board, but the members and Superintendent Jay Mitchell are welcoming and helpful, Raboin said.

"I recommend more people try it ... step up and run for positions in the city," she said. "It would be nice to see more people at the board meetings."

Raboin plans to stay active within the district even though she cannot fulfill her elected duty. She said she will attend board meetings whenever possible.

"I do hope and plan on running for this position in the future," Raboin said. "It's something I want to do. ... It is something I feel passionate about."

Anna Kurth covers education. Call her at (715) 395-5019 or e-mail akurth@superiortelegra

m.com.

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