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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : School Trustee Resigns, 9 Apply to Replace Him : Education: Gary DeRevere, elected last year despite dropping out of race, says his job interfered with his obligation to district.


SANTA CLARITA — Gary DeRevere is finally off the Sulphur Springs Union School District's governing board, and this time voters can't do anything about it.

DeRevere, 43, was elected to the board last year even though he had withdrawn from the race and stopped campaigning one month earlier.

About 2,300 Santa Clarita residents voted for him anyway, giving him the third open seat on the district board. DeRevere accepted the post after three weeks of contemplation.

But DeRevere has now resigned because, as he feared would happen, his job as an electrical contractor has kept him from giving enough attention to the elected post.

On Friday, trustees will be interviewing candidates to find a replacement for him.

Nine residents have applied for the open seat. They are homemaker Suzanne Duncombe, financial analyst Les McClafferty-Helley, animated film director Paul Strickland, computer salesman Steven Sturgeon, environmental specialist Douglas Varner, telecommunications manager Amnon Wilde and law enforcement officers Edward Henneberque, Benjamin Ruth and Winthrop Taylor.

DeRevere's winning the election was even more surprising because he had strongly favored the state school voucher initiative, which was buried by a 2-1 margin statewide. He at first thought he could serve in the post while maintaining his contracting business.

But after resigning, he said the business has been struggling of late, forcing him to lay off employees and sell his truck. He said he had no time to attend candidate forums, debate district issues or participate in a pre-election interview for a local newspaper.

DeRevere said he regretted having to step down from the post and possibly disappointing people who were counting on him. He had no advice for whoever takes over his post, but said it would be helpful if they possessed strong administrative skills.

"The main thing is to care about the kids," DeRevere said.

Trustees hope to appoint a new board member before their next formal meeting on Dec. 14.

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