COEUR d’ALENE — Tom Hearn arrived on the Coeur d'Alene School Board at kind of a crazy time in 2013.
"When I was elected to the board, along with Dave Eubanks and Christa Hazel, there was a lot of chaos going on," Hearn said. "That election in 2013 was quite contentious. There were a lot of problems."
Six years later, the chaos has subsided, and he feels he'll be leaving on a high note.
"I think things are going well," Hearn said. "I feel positive about leaving the board now. I think things are going well and I feel good about stepping aside from it at this point."
Hearn submitted his resignation letter Tuesday morning. He and his wife, Kathy, are moving out of Zone 5, which Tom represents, but they will not be leaving Kootenai County.
"At this point, I am just going to spend a lot of time thinking and praying and spending time with my wife and trying to make a decision about where to go from here," Hearn said. "I’m very purposely not going to make any commitments to anything for the time being until I've really had a chance to think it over and make a decision on what I want to do. I like being involved in the community, but I need to step back and enjoy life a little bit."
Hearn said he doesn't see himself going for an elected position in the future, though he may find himself volunteering for a cause or organization.
"My wife and I really want to have a new chapter in our lives. I’m 70 years old,” he said. "This is kind of like, finally getting to retire."
Superintendent Steve Cook said Hearn has been a strong advocate for students, teachers and administrators.
"He has made the welfare of students a priority, and has been a strong voice for safety, accountability and adequate school funding," Cook said. "Tom truly has a heart for public education. We thank him for his dedication to Coeur d’Alene Public Schools and wish him well."
Board Chairman Casey Morrisroe said, "Tom has been an excellent advocate for the students of Coeur d'Alene Schools and he will be missed."
"I have great respect for the manner in which he has conducted himself and his dedication to serve his constituents and represent all voices," Morrisroe said. "I'd like to thank him for his six-plus years of service and wish him well as he enjoys retirement."
Hearn's resignation will not be official until accepted by the board during a meeting set for Sept. 23.
"At that time the board will also discuss next steps and establish a timeline for filling the seat," Morrisroe said.