Hoopeston, superintendent to part ways

Hoopeston, superintendent to part ways

HOOPESTON — Two years after conducting a superintendent search, the Hoopeston School Board will be back at it again.

In what they're calling "a mutual agreement," the board and Superintendent Suzi Hesser decided to end her contract on June 30, a year before her original three-year agreement was set to expire.

Board members approved a separation agreement at a special meeting on Sunday evening.

Hesser didn't return News-Gazette Media's requests for comment, and board president Mark Schaumburg declined to comment.

In a news release, the board stated that Hesser's departure "is not a result of fault or misconduct, but rather a mutual agreement after a number of unrelated, unusual and distracting personnel issues, difference in educational philosophies and the superintendent's desire to explore other educational opportunities."

A former elementary school teacher in Hoopeston, Hesser was hired to lead the district on March 14, 2017, and officially took over on July 1 of that year.

Under her leadership, the board's release said, she helped improve school safety and implemented polices "for the betterment" of staff and recruiting efforts. She also engaged the community to focus on mental health and trauma-informed practices and drafted and received grants for enhancing professional development and programming.

The board thanked Hesser for her "committed" service to the district and its students for the past two years, and it wished her "nothing but the utmost success in her future educational endeavors."

Hesser also thanked the board, staff, students and community and said she looked forward to "continued achievement" in the district.

Hesser, who grew up in Bismarck and graduated from Bismarck-Henning High School, began her career in education in 1995 as a fifth-grade teacher at John Greer Elementary School in Hoopeston and taught there for seven years.

In 2002, she moved to Sterling Public Schools, where she served as principal of a 3-5, 6-8 and preK-2 school, then taught fifth grade while working on her doctorate in educational leadership from Aurora University.

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