After six years on the Christina School Board, Elizabeth Campbell Paige announced she's stepping down.
Campbell Paige made the surprise announcement at the board's regular meeting Tuesday, February 25, 2020. She told WDEL she'd been mulling the decision for several months--even shedding tears over it--but said definitively "it was time."
"I finally realized that...whether I serve another day or another year, I don't see myself making the positive change on this board that I had hoped to when I joined the board six years ago."
She said the work has become "fruitless."
"There's always this thought that if you get rid of a few board members things will change and things will be better, and that continues to happen, and nothing changes and nothing gets better," she said.
When asked whether the board was effective in its mission to help students, she replied simply, "no."
"We had an entire meeting last night that was about to adjourn and not one time was the word 'student' or 'child' or 'kid' mentioned in an entire board meeting," she said. "I think this board currently, and at times in my history on the board, has been entirely too focused on the grown-ups and not the children."
She said every conversation needs to start with students and how a decision impacts students and education in the classroom.
Campbell Paige highlighted some key moments where she felt like she's been a change agent for the district.
"I helped really push through policies that protect our undocumented immigrant students. I've put forth the policy on opt-out that really recognizes parents' rights when it comes to their children's education. [I pushed for] passing a resolution that play in classrooms is important and backed by science."
Paige was also the only board member to speak up publicly after longtime board member Fred Polaski made controversial comments she called "racist" at a presentation on education equity. Polaski was ultimately censured by the board for his remarks.
While Campbell Paige isn't sure what her next step is, she promises, she won't leave education advocacy.
"I'm not going away, I'm just hopeful that I can find a way to be more effective off the board than I am on the board," she told WDEL.
The board will appoint Campbell Paige's replacement. Her term is up in 2021, but the filing deadline for school board elections for the 2020 election is March 6. It's unclear when her replacement would be elected.
Check out Campbell Paige's resignation letter in her Facebook post: