Portsmouth school chief takes leave of absence

PORTSMOUTH — Superintendent of Schools Lynn Krizic is taking a 30-day leave of absence from her duties.

According to School Committee Chairman David Croston, Dr. Krizic cited family matters in her request for the leave of absence, which was made in an executive session with the committee on June 18.

The committee approved the request 5-2, with members Emily Copeland and John Wojichowski voting against, Mr. Croston said.

Asked whether he expects Dr. Krizic to return to her post, Mr. Croston said the committee is waiting to hear back from the superintendent.

“Obviously she has really just begun her leave of absence, and we wish her and her family well. We expect we will be in contact with her in the weeks to come,” he said.

Jeffrey Schoonover, interim director of instruction and assessment, was named assistant superintendent as of July 1.

“Jeff will act in her stead while she’s away from the district. On (July 15) the School Committee will meet to discuss any kind of need to support Jeff,” said Mr. Croston, who remained positive about the school district’s future.

“During the leave of absence there has been professional development, the leadership continues to meet and we feel we are on track for an opening and we’re excited for the upcoming school year,” he said.

Dr. Krizic, who could not be reached for comment, 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.

In other news, Mr. Croston said, the School Committee has extended a one-year agreement to Suzanne Madden as principal of Hathaway School. Ms. Madden filled the vacancy of Robert Ettinger, who retired as principal last December.

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