Muirhead resigns, Board fills vacancy

courtesy+Shorewood+School+District

courtesy Shorewood School District

After five years of serving as a member on the school board, Pablo Muirhead resigned from his position this past August. 

“Over the last five years, I have had the tremendous privilege and responsibility of serving on the Shorewood School Board. At this point, I need to step down to focus on my health and healing. As a result of a bicycle accident in March, my recovery has become a 15+ hour a week endeavor,” Muirhead stated in a letter read at the school board meeting on July 12. “As I take my next steps, I rest easy knowing that our Board is in the hands of four highly-capable individuals, folks I have grown to respect and admire throughout our time together.”

Para Shah, school board president, believes that Muirhead was devoted to the district and to making the district a safe place for the entire community. 

From the moment I met Pablo, it was very clear to me that he was very passionate about public education and he’s really passionate about Shorewood,Shah said. “[Pablo] is really dedicated to ensuring that the school district remains a place where families and teachers and community members want to be.” 

I felt it was time for me to actually try and do the work, instead of telling the board what to do,”

— Abby Fowler, Member at large

Abigail Fowler has been selected as Muirhead’s replacement until the term’s expiration in April of 2023. The remaining four members of the board confirmed Fowler’s appointment at the September 13 meeting.

Fowler, a parent of two Shorewood students and a SHS alum herself, applied to the position following several years of community involvement.

“I’ve been attending school board meetings for many years, I’ve participated through volunteering and working with the district, especially in recent times, with the equity and ICS work, which is something near and dear to my heart,” Fowler said.

“I had made enough complaints and spoke at enough meetings that I felt it was time for me to actually try and do the work,  instead of telling the board what work should be done,” Fowler said. 

I would like to personally help herald the work that we’re doing and the dedication that we have to this equity work, and fulfill what we promised as a community and as a district.”

— Abby Fowler, Member at large

The board placed an emphasis on finding someone who could not only compliment the qualities of current board members, but also bring a different perspective.

“We talked about identity and just the value of having a black woman, having a single mother…those are assets, because they’re blind spots for the rest of us,” said Emily Berry, school board vice president. 

Along with her fresh perspective, Fowler’s familiarity with the Shorewood community contributed to her qualifications for the position. 

“Abby brings some important assets, one of which actually left with Pablo, which is a lifetime of being in Shorewood, and living in and understanding of the community,” Berry said. 

Fowler was drawn to the position partly due to the selection of the next superintendent, a process that will begin this school year.

“One of the reasons why I wanted to get involved is the hiring of the next superintendent is going to be very important and paramount to the direction we feel like we want to go [in the district],” Fowler said. 

According to Fowler, one of her primary goals will be continuing to support the equity work of the district.

“I would like to personally help herald the work that we’re doing and the dedication that we have to this equity work, and fulfill what we promised as a community and as a district to do this work,” Fowler said.

In addition, Fowler looks to improve the communication to the community. 

“The other thing I would like to do is to be the voice that explains certain issues a little bit better to the public, why things can be done and why things can’t be done,” Fowler said. 

Fowler wants the community to know she can accept and respond to feedback. 

“I love our village, I love our district. I am open to conversations,” Fowler said. “I’m an open book.”