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Andover’s representative to the Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee is stepping down after nearly 15 years to care for an ailing family member.

“I love the school, I love the kids,” Marilyn Fitzgerald, who worked for the school for 22 years, said Thursday. “It was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but, on the other hand, it was one of the easiest. I’m where I need to be.”

Ernie, Fitzgerald’s partner of 33 years, was diagnosed with a terminal illness in August. The couple met while both working at the school.

Fitzgerald spoke highly over her likely successor, Anne Marie Faris, who is the only candidate running for the seat. Faris retired from Greater Lawrence Tech in 2017 after filling several roles, including dean of discipline.

“She will hit the ground running,” Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald retired from Greater Lawrence Tech in 2008 where she also held several different positions, including aquatics director. The select board and Andover School Committee jointly appointed her to fill a vacancy on the board in 2010. She was elected to her first full term in 2012 and went on to win reelection three times.

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