Alfreda Harris, longest-serving member of Boston School Committee, will retire

Alfreda Harris, the longest serving member on the Boston School Committee, is retiring, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced this morning.

Harris, a Roslindale resident, has served on the committee for nearly 20 years, having first been appointed on Sept. 8, 1993. She currently is the committee’s vice chairwoman.

Menino called her “a great public servant.”

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Michael O’Neill, Boston School Committee chairman, said “she will be deeply missed.”

Harris’s departure was unexpected. She still has more than a year left on her four-year term on the committee, which is appointed by the mayor.

Menino did not say when Harris will formally step down from the committee, which will be holding its first meeting of the school year Wednesday. Her departure is likely to enable Menino to make another appointment to the seven-member School Committee before he leaves office.

Harris could not be reached immediately for comment.