Members of the Fayetteville School Board will launch a search for a new administrator immediately, after Superintendent Vicki Thomas submitted her letter of resignation in a special meeting Monday (Jan. 13).
The school board accepted Thomas' resignation, which will take effect at the end of her current contract, June 30. She is going back home to Texas to care for her 78-year-old mother-in-law, who has a rare degenerative disease.
Thomas received a $207,000 salary, according to the district's website.
"It was a pretty serious decision regarding my husband's family, his mother was recently diagnosed with primary lateral sclerosis," Thomas said.
Tim Hudson, school board president, said Thomas was dedicated to serving the district during her five years as superintendent.
"It’s the stuff that she does behind the scenes, the number of school activities and events that you see her there," he said. "If it’s an athletic event, she often has purple converse tennis shoes on, even with the business suit."
Thomas said there was a lot she had planned to do in the district when she was hired in 2009.
"With any superintendent, you always have those goals and visions way out to make sure that progress continues to go," she said. "I think there’s always lots of work that needs to continue."
Hudson said one of the first things the new superintendent will need to do is oversee the last of the high school renovation and addition project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
"To help us complete the transformation of the high school and the transition of ninth grade students from our junior highs to the high school setting," he said.
School leaders said they're always looking to stay on top of the curve in the district.
"We’re continually looking to see who is doing the innovative things in academics, the fine arts, technology and athletics, as well as administration and can we find, who is a bright rising star," said Alan Wilbourn, school district spokesman.
The school board will meet Jan. 23 to begin the search for the new superintendent.
The district has faced several recent controversies, including the resignation of Athletic Director Barry Gebhart after he was arrested in an underage sex sting. Click here for more on the Gebhart arrest.
The school district released the following statement shortly after Thomas' resignation went public:
Fayetteville Board of Education has accepted the resignation of superintendent Vicki Thomas, effective June 30, 2014. Mrs. Thomas submitted her resignation to enable her family to move to Texas to care for an ailing family member.
The school board members thanked Mrs. Thomas for her service to the district, particularly for her efforts in helping to pass the millage election in 2010 for the transformation of Fayetteville High School and in helping the district prepare for the Common Core standards.