MAHOMET, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — Dr. Lindsey Hall officially announced an “incredibly difficult and heart wrenching” decision on Monday night. At the end of this school year, she will walk away from a $225,000 salary and the final year of her contract as the superintendent of Mahomet-Seymour schools, opting instead to spend more time with her family.
“While there are incredible rewards in our chosen profession, what our jobs entail can also leave us drained, subjected to a high level of stress, and feeling as though we cannot give any more — especially over the last 21 months,” Hall told the school board on Monday night.
“In the spirit of caring for myself and my family, I’ve decided to resign and retire a year early on June 30, 2022,” she said. The school board agreed to begin searching for Hall’s replacement, possibly by hiring a private firm, later this year.
Hall started her career in public education teaching high school students in Danville in 1989. Five years later, Mahomet-Seymour hired her as the junior high assistant principal and athletic director. She eventually became the junior high school principal before taking administrative jobs at two other school districts in Morton and DeKalb. She signed on as the superintendent at Mahomet-Seymour in 2017, and guided the district throughout the toughest days of the pandemic.
“Really, one of the most heartbreaking days of my career — and there’s been a lot of different sad times in 30-plus years of working in public education — but it was the day that Governor Pritzker closed schools,” she said. “I can remember sitting in my kitchen at the table crying, just so unsure of what we were going to do, and how we were going to serve kids, and get them food, and educate them.”
“That’s not to say it was a mistake,” she said of the governor’s decision at the time. “There was so much unknown.”
School staff and most of the board members sang her praises at Monday night’s meeting, and acknowledged the stresses of the job over the last two years.
“I’m pleased to see you prioritizing your health and well being,” board member Sunny McMurry said. “Being an educator right now is one of the hardest things to do, and the fact that you are practicing what you preach — you tell the staff often to take care of themselves — and you’re actually living it out.”
The statewide school mask mandate became a point of heated contention at Mahomet-Seymour earlier in the year. The state publicly apologized after its medical licensing agency opened an investigation into the medical license of one of the school board members, who happens to be a practicing physician. The board later published a statement to squelch rumors that one of its own members had filed the complaint with the state over a mask policy dispute at the school board.