Allen to leave school board

With thanks to the members and staff of Prince William County School Board, a nod to his wife, Mary, for her support and apologies to his son John Allen II, Coles District board member John David Allen Sr. resigned Wednesday night from the school board.

In a departing statement, Allen told the board members and a capacity audience that he was leaving his position of seven years for medical reasons, stood and left the room to a standing ovation.

“About three years ago when my medical records were released to the outside world, I was asked if I was going to resign due to the medical conditions described in those records,” Allen said.

In August of 2000, Allen wrote a letter to the editor of the Potomac News that revealed that he had been diagnosed with clinical depression, which affects about 19 million Americans, according to The National Mental Health Association.

“At that time I said ‘No,’ but I did say that if a condition would prevent me from carrying out my duties, my resignation would be a consideration,” Allen said.

“After deep consideration and deliberation, I find it necessary to submit my resignation as the Coles member to the Prince William County School Board. This is based on personal reasons, to be effective November, 30th 2002,” he said.

To his son, Allen said, “During my seven years on the board, I have missed your concerts, freshman and JV football games and wrestling meets. For this I apologize.”

To his wife , who teaches at Enterprise Elementary School in Dale City, he said, “I know at times that you have taken criticism for my votes or other actions I have taken on the board. Without going into your various responses, you have done well.”

Allen retired from the United States Army with the rank of colonel.

In his 26 years of service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts.

He served two tours in Vietnam.

Trent Barton Prince, the treasurer for the Prince William County Republicans, praised Allen’s contributions to the county and commended his decision to resign.

“We believe it takes a lot of courage and leadership to decide when it’s time to step aside,” Barton said after the board meeting.

Staff writer Keith Walker can be reached at (703) 878-8063.

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