An Eastern School District trustee has resigned in protest over the loss of 160 teaching positions in the province. Meanwhile, some high school students in St. John's are concerned about what the cuts will mean for next year.

A leaked memo written by school principals and vice-principals that CBC News obtained this week stated budget cuts will mean schools across the province will lose 160 teachers. They wrote that the loss of that many teachers will compromise school safety and reduce gym, music and arts programs.

On Wednesday, George Joyce, a trustee with the Eastern School District, announced he had stepped down.

"I can't support the education cuts that are coming down the pipe in the school system," said Joyce.

Joyce, a Liberal candidate in St. John's West in the 2011 election, said he thinks the cuts will set the province's education system back by a decade.

"Look at this school for example right here, Bishops (College)," said Joyce. "I understand that Bishops will be losing their librarian this year."

Students worried

"She [the librarian] is always there if you need help on assignments and stuff," said student Lindsey Tackeberry.

"Like, if you go up to the lab and she's always there to help you out, so you may get less time on the computers which a lot of stuff you do today is on the computer."

Tackeberry's friend, Teri-Lynn Connolly, worries some students will miss out on art and music programs.

"Some people are very artistic and if they're not doing so great in math or whatever, then [those subjects] certainly can give them another option for what they want to do after school," said Connolly.

"Bullying is a big thing now and if there's less teachers then I think there might be more bullying around," added Tackeberry. 

More public opposition

The Federation of School Councils has also added their voice to the growing chorus of opposition to the cuts. In a Wednesday news release, federation president Ruby Hoskins called on government to reverse the cuts.  

And on Wednesday evening, Derek Winsor, another Eastern School District trustee, released a letter he wrote to Education Minsiter Clyde Jackman asking him to reconsider the cuts.

Government officials have said they value the input of trustees, and they will reach out to them for advice on how to maintain quality education programs.