McCall resigns from school board

Beth McCall is shown in this 2020 file photo in front of the Marion County School Board dais. McCall resigned her seat on the board on Thursday after she moved out of her district. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]
Beth McCall resigned her position on the Marion County School Board Thursday in the wake of questions about her eligibility to serve after moving out of the district she was elected to represent.

McCall submitted her resignation to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis early Thursday before the school board’s scheduled work session. The governor’s office will appoint someone to fill the vacant seat. McCall’s term runs through 2024, and it was not clear if there would need to be a special election to fill the seat before 2024.

On April 30, McCall posted on social media that she and her husband moved to a new home, not in District 2, but instead in District 1, which is represented by Allison Campbell. District 2 covers the Belleview and Lake Weir area of the county where McCall lived for 26 years.

Not long after the post, questions about her eligibility to serve came up. State statutes require school board members to reside in the district they represent during their term in office.

“The statute is clear; I must reside in the district I serve. I will not compromise my values or integrity to find a loophole such as placing a camper in a campground in District 2 or finding other avenues to claim my residency. That is not the example I want to set for my grandchildren or the students I serve,” McCall wrote in her resignation letter.

She explained the move was necessary because of her husband’s health issues. They moved into a smaller home closer to family.

“My decision was based on what is best for my family,” she wrote.

McCall did not immediately return a call for comment on Thursday.

Voters first elected McCall in 2016. She ran unopposed in 2020 for a second four-year term. McCall previously said she would not seek a third term.

Before joining the school board, she helped launch the Public Education Foundation of Marion County more than 25 years ago. She previously served as both its president and executive director and currently serves on the board of directors. The foundation has raised more than $9 million that goes to help teachers and students in Marion County through several programs, according to the foundation’s website.

McCall also taught in the 1970s at Howard Elementary School and has remained active in school organizations. She was also executive director of the Munroe Regional Medical Center Foundation. In 2013, she established Beth McCall, LLC a fundraising consulting business.

Despite her resignation, she does not plan to retreat.

“My work is not done. I will continue to support the district and work as an advocate for public education,” she wrote in her resignation letter.

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