WACO, Texas — Larry Perez, a 17-year member of the Waco Independent School District Board of Trustees, will be stepping down from his position. 

Perez was first elected in 2002 and is the longest-serving Hispanic trustee in WISD history.

Perez wrote in an email to the board that he had been battling health issues for some time. 

"It has gotten to the point I have trouble doing the job I was trusted to do for our school children," Perez wrote. "For this I regret that I must resign immediately due to my health."

His current term representing Trustee District 3 would have expired in May 2020.

"I'm honored that voters in South Waco trusted me to represent them for nearly two decades," Perez wrote. "When I was first elected, some families in our community told me that the district didn't listen to them. As a school board member, I set out to change that. With every decision, I asked what it would mean for kids in South Waco. I made sure that our voices were heard."

Perez's last meeting as a board member will be Thursday.

 At Thursday's meeting, members will discuss how to fill the vacancies left by the resignations of Perez and Pat Atkins. 

State law and board policy allow the remaining board members to either fill those vacancies by appointment until the trustee election, which would be in May 2020, or call for a special election in November.