Chapel Hill Town Council member Rachel Schaevitz announced she would be stepping down Monday to move to New Zealand with her family.

 “I remain deeply inspired by the thoughtful and engaged activism of this community, and I’ll take that spirit with me in this next chapter of life,” Schaevitz said in a statement from the Town of Chapel Hill. “We may be headed for the southern hemisphere, but we’ll always know that the southern part of heaven is right here in Chapel Hill.”

Schaevitz was one of the INDY’s endorsements when she ran in 2017 and would have been up for re-election in 2021. 

Before running for the town council, Schaevitz moved to Chapel Hill in 2015 to be a postdoctoral humanities scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill. She served on the task force overseeing the American Legion development, and as the town’s cultural arts commissioner.

“We certainly understand what a remarkable opportunity this is for Dr. Schaevitz and wish her well,” said Mayor Pam Hemminger.  “We will miss her positive energy and her ability to communicate issues concisely and effectively.”

Schaevitz’s replacement will be appointed by the council after she leaves her post in February, according to the News & Observer. 

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