By Terry Dean
The District 200 Board of Education on April 16 voted not to renew the contract of Lauren Smith, the high school's assistant superintendent for human resources.
Smith, who was hired in 2010, has been on administrative leave since mid-March. The high school has not said why or if it was a paid leave.
The D200 board's vote not to renew her contract was unanimous. The decision came during a special board meeting that started late last Tuesday but ended at around 2:45 a.m., due to a lengthy executive session. The board took the vote early Wednesday after coming out of closed session.
According to sources close to the matter, the decision not to retain Smith was based on actions by the director that were deemed "embarrassing" but not illegal with respect to her duties.
Smith, who's currently making $144,000, has not been back in the building since going on leave. Smith's contract ends on June 30; OPRF administrators are each on one-year contracts. Supt. Steven Isoye said she will remain on leave through that time. Isoye would not answer or address questions as to whether Smith was let go because of anything she did that was improper.
Smith's duties are currently being performed by Isoye, along with HR department staff. With Smith's departure, the school now has two administrative posts to be filled. The CFO position is open following Cheryl Witham's decision in February to take a position at New Trier Township School District 203. She starts there on July 1, as the school's assistant superintendent for finances and operations.
Isoye said he plans to talk with the firm handling the CFO search about also taking on the search for a new HR director.
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