Elger to Step Down from Habersham School Board

In a statement released today, Habersham School Board member John Elger explained his reasoning for resigning his position effective at the end of this month.

Elger, who still has more than two years remaining on his term, has recently been outspoken on issues such as racism and school returning amid COVID-19. In the letter, he writes, "An explanation is owed to the public and particularly to my supporters."

Elger further explained his decision in the following letter:

"Part of the reason for my resignation is that my wife and I decided in the last couple of months that not later than next summer we wanted to move permanently to the home we own in another state. Soon thereafter, I informed the Superintendent and Board chair of that plan.

There are two reasons that my resignation date has been accelerated to September 30, 2020. The first is that my primary reason I ran for the Board in the first place was to offer my support to the Superintendent in his efforts to make HCS a system where all student succeed. I was and remain impressed and encouraged by both his vision for the system and his efforts to make that vision a reality. My recent public outspokenness regarding BOE matters is due to concern regarding some aspects of his COVID response plan. I am not an education expert and the areas of my concern are ones where even education experts cannot agree. I do, however, believe in the adage: 'lead, follow, or get out of the way.' Only the Superintendent or a majority of the Board can lead this system. Since I am neither, my choices are to follow or leave. A good follower I am not and never have been.

The second reason for resigning now was made painfully obvious this past week. It is that I provided limited diversity to BOE that is largely non-diverse. It is important to note that to have any opportunity to achieve true diversity (racial or otherwise) in Board membership, Habersham County citizens need to rise up and address this issue by investing the energy and resources necessary to successfully run for office!

As Mr. Nelson, the current chair of the BOE, stated so well during last month's Board meeting, almost nobody has been willing to run for the BOE in recent years. In two years, a majority of the Board seats will be up for election in an off-year election when less than 3,000 votes (out of over 25,000 registered voters in the county) likely will be cast for the winner of a contested BOE race. Now is the time to begin planning for the 2022 election if you seriously want to see a more representative BOE. Otherwise, you will have no basis for complaining when the actions of the Board or the Superintendent are not to your liking!"