The president of the Cherry Creek School District’s board of education resigned Friday after using what he described as “a racist term” this week on stage at a teacher awards banquet.

David Willman

David Willman issued an apology Wednesday for using the undisclosed term the night before. He said he inititally was defensive when confronted about it, but, after reflection, he now understood “that my words were hurtful and damaging.”

On Friday, he announced his resignation.

“It is with deepest regret that I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign my Board of Education president and membership positions, effective immediately,” Willman said in a written statement. “It became clear to me in these unique times, that the board needed a strong and consistent leadership message moving forward within our community. Thus my time in this role on the Board of Education needs to come to a completion.”

Scott A. Siegfried, superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, thanked Willman, an eight-year board member, for his service.

“I respect Mr. Willman’s decision and thank him for putting the best interests of our students and community first,” Siegfried said in a written statement. “In Cherry Creek Schools, we are committed to creating a district-wide culture that is safe, supportive and inclusive.”

The board will launch an application process to fill the position.