AUSD meetings return to in-person only

ATASCADERO — The Atascadero Unified School District (AUSD) School Board met for its regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. following its 6 p.m. closed session. 

While the board has been operating under AB 361, which authorizes remote teleconferencing, since Oct. 5, 2021, AB 361 has now expired. The State of California placed a June 30, 2022, end date on AB 361 and did not extend it. The district and its meetings are now fully open for people to attend in person and it does not have plans to return to live streaming via YouTube. The location of the meetings can be found on the agenda.

On her personal Facebook page on Aug. 2, Trustee Mary Kay Mills announced that she would be resigning from her seat on the AUSD School Board as of Sept. 1. This will open up a two-year board position on the November ballot. When Mills was elected to her seat in 2014, she also started with a two-year term when she took over for George Galvan.


Mills’ children were in middle and high school when she was elected to her current position in 2014, and right before re-election in 2016, she and her husband became guardians of his granddaughter, who was almost 3 at the time.

“That was a bit of a shuffle, being a trustee and having a small child again, but, you know, we made it work,” Mills said. “And she [Mill’s daughter] has some special needs, and so we shuffled around. That was 2016, and I ran that term and had four more years.”

The next term for re-election for school board came in 2020. Mills originally had no intention of running again due to her daughter’s needs and the birth of her twin sons in 2019.

“When 2020 came around, our schools were closed, [and] our kids were in masks,” she said. “I’m a conservative voice for the community, and I felt that I could not abandon my post. I needed to run again.”

Mills stated that she didn’t campaign or put up any yard signs, but she still was re-elected in 2020. She added that with the direction the state is headed in currently, she feels she can now comfortably take a step back from her role as a trustee.

“I can step back and be back in that season of being home with my small kids,” Mills added.

Mills resignation will start on Sept. 1 of this year, unless she is told to leave sooner by the county. When a resignation is placed from a position such as school board trustee, it is a 30-day resignation.

“I wanted to make sure that when I did resign I didn’t put my current board in the position where they were needing to appoint someone,” Mills said. “I feel very strongly that it needed to go to the vote and let the taxpayers and community decide who they wanted to represent them. Not that I didn’t trust my board; I just didn’t want to put them in that position.”

Mills said that she will resign whenever needed to ensure that the trustee seat is on the ballot in the upcoming November elections.

“It’s really important to me that it goes on the ballot and it will be a two-year term. That’s exactly how I was elected,” she added.

Mills also stressed how important the school board trustee positions are, and how the upcoming term is sure to be an exciting one.

“It’s been an honor. Honestly, I mean, our children are the future and our hope and these kids at Atascadero … there’s just one thing that’s always been clear about Atascadero,” she said. “I graduated from Atascadero schools, my kids have as well, my parents did. And one thing that’s always been clear is that we produce extraordinary people. It’s so evident. And being a trustee, I care more about it.

“We really do have this amazing community, and so I have no doubt that whoever is elected and takes my position, the Atascadero board is going to keep on going like they always have and that’s putting the children first.”

The Atascadero Unified School District’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m.