PORTSMOUTH — A little over two years after she was hired to lead the Portsmouth school district, Dr. Lynn Krizic has resigned as superintendent effective July 31, according to School Committee Chairman David Croston.
The reasons for her departure are not entirely clear. Dr. Krizic, citing family matters, requested and was granted by the School Committee a 30-day leave of absence in June.
On Tuesday Mr. Croston would only say, “I think that the conditions in place at that time have not changed and that’s only my personal assumption. I would suppose it’s in her interests, and our interests, that we move on.”
Asked whether there had been any friction between Dr. Krizic and the School Committee, Mr. Croston said, “I think that while there’s always going to be differences with the approach with any district, Lynn has actually set our bar very high. The reality is there were conditions that were outside of our control that have affected her decision-making, but you’ll have to ask her directly.”
Dr. Krizic did not return a phone message seeking comment Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Croston said he didn’t know whether Dr. Krizic, who had been living in Little Compton, was still in the Rhode Island area.
Dr. Krizic agreed to be available to the district as needed to support the transition in the school department’s leadership, an offer Mr. Croston said the School Committee has accepted. “I wish her and her family the very best and deeply appreciate her willingness to help as we move forward,” he said.
Dr. Krizic was hired to lead the Portsmouth schools in June 2011. She had previously been superintendent of two Illinois school districts — a 1,600 student K-8 district and the 8,200 student Elmhurst Community school district, which encompasses 13 schools.
Search for new chief
Now the School Committee will focus its attention on the search for a new superintendent.
“I believe what we are looking to do is have a search that will take place sometime in late fall that will have a new superintendent in place under contract by next fiscal year starting July 1. Whether someone could join us before that, I don’t know,” said Mr. Croston.
Until then, the committee will need to decide on an interim superintendent. That position has been held by Jeffrey Schoonover, interim director of instruction and assessment, since July 1. Mr. Schoonover, said Mr. Croston, “has been ably leading the district in Lynn’s absence.”
The school district will see no disruptions going forward, he said.
“Our building leaders are all in full preparation mode for the start of the school year. Chris DiIuro, director of administration and finance, is building both the capacity and structure around the business office, and the School Committee will make the final hiring decisions for the start of school next week,” he said. “Lynn set high goals for the district, administration, teachers, staff and students and we will continue to strive to reach the high standards.”
The School Committee and the administration leadership team will attend a two-day retreat later this month at Roger Williams University. “It’s something our leadership team has done every year. It’s been many a year since the School Committee was at the retreat,” said Mr. Croston, noting that teacher evaluation standards will be a key topic of discussion.
David Larson, former executive director of the Connecticut Superintendent’s Association and past superintendent of Middletown and Ridgefield, Conn. is helping to facilitate the retreat.
Mr. Croston said school leaders are excited for the upcoming school year, “maybe a bit more than the kids.”
“We strive to make this upcoming year formative for the district, our leadership team, teachers and most important our students.”