Sherrard superintendent resigns

Cala Smoldt

The Sherrard District 200 Board of Education accepted the resignation of Superintendent Samuel P. Light at a special meeting Saturday.

Light, who accepted a superintendent position in Lincoln County, Georgia, said, “I’m lucky enough to be closer to my grandchildren, I’m excited to be an hour and a half away instead of 13.” The board received notice of his resignation Aug. 2.

District 200 has been entangled in court proceedings for about 18 months beginning shortly after Light began assumed his duties on April 7, 2014. He was hired after the school repeatedly denied access to a service dog needed for then-second grade student Kellsey McGuire who has epilepsy. Tensions escalated between the mother, Brandi McGuire, and the school district, resulting in court proceedings where an impartial hearing officer ruled in favor of the McGuires. The district was ordered to pay school tuition for the daughter’s education as well as legal fees. District 200 is appealing the decision, which is costing it hundreds of thousands of dollars in court fees. Exact figures were not immediately available.

The search for a new superintendent began immediately, the notice  posted Monday, Aug. 10 to, “minimize the amount of time we are dealing with a potential interim,” said School Board President Leslie Anderson. She asked the board for flexibility to be available for interviewing potential candidates.

According to Anderson, the district will require five years experience as an Illinois superintendent, “Given the nature of where the district is at, what we’ve experienced recently, the majority of the board felt that having a superintendent that has actual experience as a superintendent was appropriate at this time.”

Application deadline is Aug. 21 with candidate interviews to be completed by Aug. 28. They hope to hire a new Superintendent by Aug. 29, with that person beginning work by Oct. 1.