The Santa Fe Board of Education has called a special meeting Thursday to accept the resignation of board vice president Rudy Garcia.
The agenda for the meeting included a discussion and possible action item on Garcia’s resignation, plus setting a process and timeline for naming his successor.
Garcia, 51, did not respond to phone calls or a text message late Monday afternoon following the release of Thursday’s meeting agenda, sent via email by Santa Fe Public Schools.
But board member Sarah Boses said in a phone interview Garcia’s letter of resignation detailed his need to focus on his health.
“The reason stated is just that he’s focusing on his health and wellbeing, and that’s really the extent of what we know,” Boses said.
At the last school board meeting Garcia attended in May, he told the board he’d recently had a seizure, which was affecting his ability to speak clearly.
Garcia, who also serves as a Santa Fe County commissioner, was defeated in the Democratic Party primary earlier this month by Camilla Bustamante. He has served one term.
The school board on Thursday will discuss the details of appointing a new member to succeed Garcia in District 4, which largely encompasses Santa Fe’s south side.
The school board in September appointed Sascha Anderson to a board position following the death of board member Lorraine Price. Anderson won election to the board two months later.
Garcia, who previously served on the school district’s Citizens Review Committee (now known as the Community Review Committee) was appointed to the board in December 2017 to replace former state Rep. Linda Trujillo, who had resigned. He faced no opposition in the 2019 school board election and was elected with more than 1,200 votes.
His term is set to end in December 2023.
Garcia in 2019 surprised many observers when he voted against closing three smaller east side schools after indicating he was for the proposal. Afterward, he told a reporter he wanted to see what the public would say and how his district would be affected.
“It was obvious to me that we need to study the issue further,” he said at the time.
Garcia was publicly criticized for being frequently absent from school board meetings in 2018 and 2019. Meeting minutes and recordings from Santa Fe Public Schools show that between August 2021 and June, Garcia missed eight of 25 meetings held by the school board and showed up late several other times.