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Cheryl Pruitt

Cheryl Pruitt

CHICAGO — Cheryl Pruitt, former superintendent of the Gary Community School Corp., is now under investigation in her role as Chief Executive Officer of a Chicago charter school.

Pruitt, serving as CEO of Chicago Virtual Charter School, was placed on paid administrative leave last week pending the outcome of an internal investigation, the CVCS Board of Directors confirmed in a prepared statement.

The former Gary Community School Corp. leader was charged last October in Lake Criminal Court with level 6 felony theft and misconduct counts alleging she stole from the cash-strapped Gary district as it faced state takeover.

The CVCS board voted May 29 during a closed session of a regularly scheduled board meeting to place the school's CEO on leave. The board did not go into detail about the circumstances surrounding their investigation of Pruitt.

CVCS is a hybrid charter school in Chicago's West Loop focusing on blended online and in-person instruction for students grades K through 12. 

Financial challenges in the self-managed Chicago charter school have been documented in board meeting minutes posted to the school's website.

Pruitt joined CVCS last year, according to the educator's personal website.

The state took over the Gary Community School Corp. in 2017 delegating all authority of the district's superintendent and school board to an emergency manager tasked with paying off the school corp.'s more-than-$100-million debt.

CVCS Head of Schools Donna Henry, former principal of Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy in Gary, will assume CEO responsibilities during Pruitt's leave, the board said in its statement.

"The CVCS Board, staff and volunteers continue to place a premium on their students and the delivery of high quality instruction," the board said.

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Education Reporter

Carley Lanich covers education in Lake County and throughout the Region. She comes to Northwest Indiana from Indianapolis and is an IU-Bloomington grad.