Former Clark-Pleasant school board member Laura Cope during a meeting in August at Clark-Pleasant Middle School. Daily Journal file photo

A pair of Clark-Pleasant school board members resigned from their posts, effective immediately.

School board president Beth Poe and vice president Laura Cope’s resignations create a vacancy that school leaders hope to fill during the Nov. 16 board meeting. During that meeting, the three remaining board members — Butch Zike, David Thompson and Craig Koch — will choose among interested applicants to fill the spots, according to a Clark-Pleasant schools news release.

Applicants have a Nov. 5 deadline, and the school board will interview candidates the week of Nov. 8, according to the news release.

Poe would not comment on the reason for her resignation, and Cope did not return a request for comment. Resignation letters, which are public record, were not immediately available, but school officials said they would be by the end of the day today.

Poe and Cope had served on the board since 2019. Their replacements will serve until at least December 2022, though they can run for election to extend their terms.

The job of the school board is to review expenditures and policies, conduct monthly meetings, set school calendars, and hire and fire school personnel.

The resignations come in the midst of increased tensions between parents and school board members about COVID-19 protocols and mask mandates, and debates about curriculum and Critical Race Theory.

The school board’s September meeting was adjourned after just two minutes because parents refused to wear masks despite a district-wide mandate. Poe and Cope left the meeting after the adjournment, while the other three school board members remained, violating the state’s open-door law which says a majority of school board members cannot have public meetings unless 48 hours public notice is given.