Albemarle School Board member Eric Strucko discusses the school division's proposed budget

A member of the Albemarle County School Board has stepped down.

Eric Strucko, who represents the Samuel Miller District, resigned his seat Wednesday after accepting a position at Pennsylvania State University, where he will serve — among other capacities — as associate vice president of finance and business. He cited his June 1 start date as the reason for his immediate resignation.

“I truly appreciate the dedication to public education that Steve Koleszar, Pam Moynihan, Barbara Massie Mouly, Jason Buyaki and Kate Acuff have exhibited over the course of my tenure on the board,” Strucko said in his letter to of resignation to School Board Chairman Ned Gallaway. “I have enjoyed our discussions, debates, arguments, planning processes and celebrations as we engage in the perpetual work to improve the caliber of education present in Albemarle County schools.”

The two-term member of the School Board and 20-year Albemarle resident said the decision to leave was not easy. He cited being closer to his and his wife Laurie’s aging parents and returning to his wife’s alma mater as factors in returning to Pennsylvania.

“The forces have converged, and we made a very arduous decision,” he said.

Strucko, chief financial officer of the University of Virginia Physicians Group, said in an email to Charlottesville Tomorrow that he will succeed Wayne W. Zolko, who is retiring after 31 years at Penn State.

Phil Giaramita, spokesman for Albemarle County Public Schools, said the School Board will decide how it wants to fill the vacancy. Giaramita said the School Board has appointed an interim member during previous vacancies. It can then ask a judge to put Strucko’s seat on the November 2015 ballot for a special election.

“I’m sure they’re going to want to do this as soon as they can,” Giaramita said.

In his letter, Strucko urged holding a special election to determine his successor.

“I believe the people of Samuel Miller will want to choose their representative directly at the earliest opportunity,” he said. “Please engage in the legal steps necessary to make that happen.”

The Albemarle School Board is scheduled to meet again May 14.