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Johnnie Thomas resigns as Crystal Lake-based School District 155 superintendent

Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com
Crystal Lake Community High School District 155 Superintendent Johnnie Thomas holds a town hall meeting March 13 for residents at Cary-Grove High School. Thomas announced in a statement Tuesday night that he is resigning as the district's superintendent.
Sarah Nader file photo – snader@shawmedia.com Crystal Lake Community High School District 155 Superintendent Johnnie Thomas holds a town hall meeting March 13 for residents at Cary-Grove High School. Thomas announced in a statement Tuesday night that he is resigning as the district's superintendent.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Crystal Lake-based School District 155 Superintendent Johnnie Thomas resigned Tuesday – about a week before classes start for the district’s four high schools.

Thomas has been offered a superintendent position in Rich Township School District 227 in Matteson, according to a news release from the district. 

“The board has full confidence in our administrative team, faculty, support staff, parents, students and district partners to carry on the proud tradition of District 155 as the board now focuses on next steps for ensuring the best leadership for the district,” District 155 board President Adam Guss said in a statement. “We want to reassure staff, students, parents and the community that supports will be in place for the start of the 2017-18 school year as we begin the search for a superintendent.”

A special board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Education, 1 S. Virginia Road, Crystal Lake, according to the release. 

The board will enter executive session, which is not open to the public, before possibly taking action in open session on two items – the acceptance of the superintendent’s resignation and the appointment of an interim superintendent, according to the agenda.

“We want to thank Dr. Thomas for his five years of service at District 155, and his commitment to our students and community,” Guss said in the statement. 

Thomas and the district spokesperson could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Thomas started as District 155’s superintendent in July 2012 after working for three years as an associate superintendent for student services in Township School District 214 in Arlington Heights, according to the district’s website.

An administrator and teacher salary and benefits report posted on the district’s website showed that Thomas made a base salary of more than $187,000 during the 2016-17 school year.

In May 2016, the District 155 board extended Thomas’ contract through the 2019-20 school year. After a 4-3 vote, two years were tacked on to Thomas’ contract, which originally went through 2017-18. Encompassed in the board motion were three additional items: the elimination of a performance bonus package; 2 percent annual increases starting in 2016-17, up from the 1.5 percent he has received to that point; and 7.5 more reimbursable vacation days, or up to 12.5 total.

In 2015, the board awarded Thomas the maximum bonus allowed under his contract, which amounted to $14,000.

The district has an enrollment of about 6,600 students in its schools that include Cary-Grove High School, Crystal Lake South High School, Crystal Lake Central High School, Prairie Ridge High School and an alternate education campus, according to the district’s website. 

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