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Town Council Member Announces Future Plans

Rachel Schaevitz steps aside for professional opportunity overseas

Post Date:01/06/2020 2:44 PM

Council Member Rachel Jones Schaevitz, Ph.D., has announced her pending resignation from the Chapel Hill Town Council to relocate with her husband David and two young children to Auckland, New Zealand. They plan to pursue a unique professional opportunity and give their children a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It has been a joy and a privilege to serve Chapel Hill as a member of our Town Council,” Dr. Schaevitz said. “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. 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.”

In keeping with Town ordinance, the Town Council will begin a process for addressing this vacancy once Dr. Schaevitz has vacated her seat in mid-to-late February.

“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.”

Before she was elected in 2017, Dr. Schaevitz served the community as a member of the Cultural Arts Commission and chair of the American Legion Task Force.  While on Town Council, she has also served as a board member for Family Success Alliance, the liaison to the Orange County Visitors’ Bureau, the Cultural Arts Commission, the Community Design Commission, the Planning Board, the Southern Area Focus Group, the Orange County Intergovernmental Parks Group, the Council Committee on UNC Eastowne Negotiations and co-chair of the Varsity Theatre Task Force.

The whole family is excited about the adventure, but feel bittersweet about departing Chapel Hill.

“I take my responsibility to the Town very seriously and am so grateful to the residents of Chapel Hill who supported me in this role,” Dr. Schaevitz said. “In leaving, I am confident the Council will continue to welcome strong voices for inclusivity, the arts, thoughtful development and a greener, more sustainable future.”

For more information, contact Mayor’s Aide Jeanne Brown at 919-968-2714 or

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