Novato resident Patricia Warren left the Marin County School Board after serving 35 years.
“I think it’s time,” Warren said in a June 21 resignation letter to the board. “I look forward to the next opportunities that come my way.”
The resignation took effect Thursday.
Warren was appointed to the county council in September 1986, then elected and re-elected for three decades thereafter.
Prior to joining the county board, Warren served on the Novato Unified School District Board for nine years.
“His contribution has been immense,” county council president Patty Garbarino said Friday. “The commitment she made to the Marin children, to give them the best possible experience, was done with grace.”
Garbarino said she has worked with Warren for more than 20 years.
“She’s a real lady,” Garbarino said. “She is an example for all of us.”
In addition to her commitment to helping children, Warren was one of the first women’s rights leaders in Marin. She was one of six women to co-found the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame in 1987.
Beginning in 1986, she served as staff coordinator for the Marin Women’s Commission. She developed a sexual harassment prevention workshop for Marin County staff and became the county’s on-the-job trainer in this area.
“In her role as a staff member of the Women’s Commission, she has helped address issues of discrimination throughout the county,” said Marin County Schools Superintendent Mary Jane Burke.
Warren worked on the staff of Planned Parenthood beginning in 1969. She served on the organization’s advisory board beginning in 1979.
In the late 1970s, she was a staff member of Marin Abused Women’s Services and was also a board member of the Rape Crisis Center. It was later known as Community Violence Solutions.
In 2003, the group dedicated the Patricia Warren Center of Community Violence Solutions, recognizing its work on behalf of women, children and families. The dedication highlighted how she “strongly stood against violence, gender discrimination and injustice”.
Warren has also supported educational projects to help youth with substance abuse issues, special needs or alternative education, and regional vocational programs, according to Burke.
“Through budget cuts and windfalls, layoffs and hiring staff, resuming and expanding programs, Pat never lost sight of trying to do what was best for students. and families while meeting the needs of local districts,” Burke said.
“She was always thoughtful and maintained a reasoned approach to deliberations,” Burke said. “She stayed strong through the tough times.”
Warren has also served on numerous non-profit club and service boards. These include the Novato Parents Nursery School Board and the Novato Youth Soccer Association Board of Directors. She was also a guide and board member of the Marin Environmental Forum and a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Novato Sunrise.
“Pat Warren is a visionary who has truly dedicated himself to excellence in education and who has given tirelessly to the children and youth of our schools,” Burke said. “She’s one of those special people who has just walked around the community doing good things because she thinks that’s what good people do.”
In her letter to the board, Warren said she feels “very fortunate to have been part of a team that is tackling the many changes and challenges in education.”