SD2 trustee resigns from board to take new job

2014-05-12T10:15:00Z 2014-05-13T06:38:04Z SD2 trustee resigns from board to take new jobBy ROB ROGERS rrogers@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

School District 2 board trustee Lindy Graves announced his resignation Monday morning as he prepares to take a new job in South Dakota.

Graves has served two terms on the board and has been a strong voice for improving technology within the classroom and on the board. Graves worked with community access Channel 7 to broadcast online live streaming of board meetings. 

He also spoke often of the district's need to improve its facilities and reduce its number of crowded classrooms. 

"Our district has great teachers and administrators that go above and beyond the call of duty every day," he wrote in his resignation letter. "However there is still plenty to do and I hope the community will join with the schools" to do it.

Graves, who worked for Century Link, is taking a new telecom job in South Dakota.

"We're moving back home," he said on Monday morning. 

Graves and his family moved to Billings about six years ago from South Dakota to take a job with Qwest Communications. Qwest was eventually bought out by Century Link.  

"I will miss the relationships that I have made and the people I have worked with for the past four years," he wrote. 

During his four years on the board, Graves has seen the board at some perilous lows and satisfying highs.

In late 2011, he was part of the majority when the board was split 5-4 over then-Superintendent Keith Beeman's job performance. He and the other members of the majority helped force Beeman's resignation. 

The board division at the time was deep and bitter, leading the board chairwoman to resign after Beeman's departure. 

By early 2013, the board had completely turned itself around. Under the leadership of a new superintendent, Terry Bouck, and amid a concerted effort by trustees to work together, SD2 made surprising gains.  

In May of 2013, voters in Billings approved a pair of levies to help the district hire teachers and improve technology. And then in November, voters approved a record-breaking $122 million construction bond to build new schools and improve existing ones — something that was unthinkable just two years before. 

"I want to thank the taxpayers for supporting the bonds and the levies," Graves wrote. "They were greatly needed."

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