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Administration, Board Members React to President Resignation

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The Iowa City Community School District board president stepped down from her position after Tuesday night's school board meeting.
Now-former board president Sally Hoelscher wrote an email just after 10:30 p.m. announcing her resignation, citing personal reasons. 
Fellow board members weren't necessarily surprised about the resignation, but weren't expecting it in an email. 
"I was knowledgable that she was thinking about this, so it was no a great surprise," said board member Marla Swesey. 
"I know that she couldn't have come to this decision easily, but if it's the right thing for her, then I respect her decision," said board member Brian Kirschling. 
Superintendent Stephen Murley said it is not easy to replace a board member. The learning curve is steep, and the board has been faced with some controversial decisions. With $3.6 million in budgets cuts taking the ax to some popular programs, the board has faced a lot of criticism. 
"It can be hard at times, I'm not going to lie, but we've got a lot of decisions to make going forward," Kirschling said. 
A decision Tuesday night extended salary increases for employees -- $4 million overall for staff -- with $200,000 going to some school administrators. Salaries were frozen earlier this year for the district's top six administrators, and there was some concern at Tuesday's meeting that the money used to raise salaries could have been spent on saving programs instead. 
Murley said, keeping good employees involves competitive pay. 
"In a sense, you're caught between the desire to ensure that you are adequately compensating and rewarding your employees and still being able to provide the programs and services that students in the classroom need," Murley said. 
The board now has to decide if it will appoint a new member or hold a special election to fill the open seat. 
Hoelscher was not available for comment. 
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