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UPDATE: East Chicago schools superintendent resigns, district seeking applications for interim replacement

UPDATE: East Chicago schools superintendent resigns, district seeking applications for interim replacement

East Chicago Central High School Commencement

School City of East Chicago superintendent Paige McNulty speaks to graduates at East Chicago Central High School's commencement in June 2018.

EAST CHICAGO — The School City of East Chicago is searching for a new superintendent after the school city’s board accepted Superintendent Paige McNulty’s resignation Wednesday night.

McNulty has left the district to pursue other opportunities, district attorney Jewell Harris Jr. said Thursday.

Tamara Pol, director of special education for East Chicago schools, will serve as acting superintendent as the board begins its search to find its next superintendent, Harris said.

The attorney said Pol will work closely with Lela Simmons, chief financial officer for the school city, to handle day-to-day operations.

Harris said the board is now accepting applications to review for a possible interim superintendent, adding the district hopes within 30 days to be in a position to determine who could serve on an interim basis.

The school board will look both internally and externally to fill an interim position, Harris said.

“As the board implements its vision for the future, we want to assure the faculty, staff, students and families that the district is working with the best interest of the students in mind,” Harris said.

McNulty confirmed Thursday she is taking a new position outside of the School City, but was not yet able to share where she will be working. She said she plans to continue working in education in Northwest Indiana.

"I decided to resign and I'm very excited to be moving forward with a new opportunity," the former superintendent said.

McNulty has been superintendent with the district since May 2016 when the school board voted for her to replace retiring Superintendent Youssef “Dr. Joe” Yomtoob.

She previously served as assistant superintendent for the school city. Yomtoob hired McNulty for the position in 2015 and trained her to become the school city's next leader following his retirement. McNulty had 10 months left in her contract, according to prior reporting by The Times.

McNulty said she is proud of the work she's done with the district, including reintroducing preschool curriculum within the school city and working with her administrative team to attract grants such from the Lilly Endowment's Comprehensive Counseling Initiative.

Under McNulty's leadership, the school city saw the introduction of its first Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corp. program at East Chicago Central High School. The former superintendent also recently spearheaded a citywide initiative to tackle chronic absences in East Chicago schools through community support services and a new city ordinance.

"East Chicago has great staff, great kids and I wish them nothing but the best," McNulty said.

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