Rob Rogers, the School District 2 Trustee representing Billings' West End, resigned Wednesday. 

Rogers will be taking a job reporting on health care for the Billings Gazette beginning March 1 and did not want to continue as a trustee in his new position.

"It's such a huge conflict of interest," he said Thursday.

He covered education at the Gazette for five years before resigning in 2014 to spend more time with his children. He was appointed by the SD2 Board of Trustees to a vacant position in June, and was re-elected in an unopposed race in 2015.  

Montana law requires school boards to appoint a new trustee for open spots within 60 days of the board declaring the position vacant. If trustees don't appoint someone in that period, the county school superintendent appoints a new trustee. The appointed trustee serves until the next school election. 

For Rogers' seat, it appears an appointee would serve a limited term before the May 2 school election. Three other seats are up for election; the South Side seat held by Tanya Ludwig, the West Heights and North Park seat held by Janna Hafer, and the high school-only seat held by Suzie Layton, which represents areas outside Billings' elementary district.

So far, only Ludwig has filed for re-election. The final day for candidates to file is March 23.

Rogers said that he felt his time on the school board was productive. 

"With the hiring of Terry (Bouck, SD2's current superintendent), the district has been able to get some great momentum moving in the right direction," he said. 

SD2 released a statement calling Rogers "a tireless advocate for our public schools for many years now."

During Rogers' tenure, the board went through a redistricting process that proved contentious at the high school level. It also oversaw the construction of two new middle schools funded by a bond passed in 2013, as well as several other infrastructure improvements. 

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Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Billings Gazette.