PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Newberg School Board bid farewell to two members during a board meeting Tuesday night.
Rebecca Piros and Brandy Penner announced Tuesday they would be stepping down effective immediately. Both women cited the board’s questionable decisions over the past year, with Penner calling the board’s actions illegal and immoral.
“The board’s actions and decisions this past year have broken my heart,” Piros said teary-eyed. “I find I can no longer work with people who I feel do not have the best interest of every student and every staff member at heart.”
Penner echoed similar sentiments in her departure.
“It is a great professional and personal disappointment that in the last year, I have been part of a school board that is laser-focused on destroying not only public education but our community,” said Penner. “For months, hundreds of students, staff, parents and community members pleaded with this board to listen, to lead with professionalism and compassion. And these pleads fell on deaf ears.”
She claimed the board has abused its power by condoning hate through name calling, homophobic slurs and sexism.
Penner’s announcement was cut off when she went over her allotted time, prompting the board to move to a vote on her and Piros’ resignation. Penner asserted she had not yet resigned.
The board allowed Penner to finish her prepared speech. After her official resignation, the board voted and accepted both resignations.
“The Newberg School Board would like to say goodbye to Rebecca Piros and Brandy Penner. We want to say thank you for their time of service to the Newberg School District. We wish them well in their future endeavors,” said Board Chair Dave Brown in a statement.
The Newberg School District has made national headlines over the last year regarding what is deemed “controversial” at school. These contentions ranged from finding a new superintendent to a failed recall of the board chair and vice chair.
Since the district fired former Superintendent Dr. Joe Morelock in November, Piros and Penner have been outspoken on various board decisions and potential motivations behind them.
Piros and Penner noted they would continue advocating and supporting Newberg students and staff.
KOIN 6 Reporter Lisa Balick contributed to this story.