Jen Holweger

Jen Holweger

Jen Holweger, a member of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage District's Board of Education, resigned from her elected position Thursday. 

Holweger cited parenting demands and said she's no longer able to devote the time and energy needed to be an effective board member.

Fellow board members and Superintendent Theresa Battle each expressed support for Holweger's decision and gratitude for her service following her announcement during Thursday's regular board meeting. 

Holweger, a newcomer to the board, was elected in 2018. 

At the time of her campaign, she had two children — ages 6 and 4 — and has since welcomed two additional children into her family who are both currently under the age of 14 months. 

"It's been a pleasure to get to know you and to get to work with you over the past two years," Chairwoman Abigail Alt said to Holweger. "I don't think you could have picked a more important and more demanding time to serve in this role." 

In Holweger's short tenure, she cast a vote on several changes likely to impact the district for decades. 

She represented the district throughout the most recent round of contract negotiations with the Burnsville Education Association teacher's union last year. 

In April, 2019, the board spent late evenings interviewing candidates before unanimously choosing Theresa Battle to lead the district following the retirement of former Superintendent Cindy Amoroso. 

Last November, voters passed a new operating levy for the district to soften the multi-million dollar programming and staff cuts made annually in recent years. 

The next month, after six months of review, the board voted to close three schools at the end of the 2019-2020 school year to further cut operating expenses. Months sooner than expected, the three schools were shuddered along with the rest at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We've had laughter and we've had tears," Alt said, thanking Holweger for her positive attitude and collaborative approach throughout the district's hardships. 

In her remarks, Battle reflected on a moment shared between her and Holweger following the death of George Floyd. 

"The first thing you wanted to know was, 'how are you' because when he called out for his mother, you and I both were very touched by that in a different way," Battle said. "So I wanted to thank you for that. I'll miss you and I hope you know — you're a member of this community." 

Longtime board member DeeDee Currier, who will retire from the board this year, encouraged Holweger to seek office again someday down the road. 

"The hardest part about service and volunteering and helping out in the community is that it can become overwhelming, and I totally understand that," board member Eric Miller said. "The best thing you can do for yourself is to know when it's time to say no and step back and take care of your family, so I think you're making the right decision."

Aaron Tinklenberg, the district's communications director, said the board will appoint someone to serve in the vacant seat until a special election can be held.

Whoever wins the special election will serve the remainder of Holweger's term; until January, 2023.

The board is scheduled to finalize the special election process at the Oct. 22 meeting.