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Fairmont principal submits letter of resignation to board

Fairmont school principal ZaRita Beal will be signing off from her post after submitting her resignation letter, which is effective June 30.

In a 7-0 vote at its March 29 special board meeting, the Fairmont School District 89 Board of Education approved the resignation of an administrator.

The matter received no discussion during the board’s special meeting, following a motion by Board President Katie Ulmer to enter into closed session.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Lela Bridges said after the meeting, school district officials were briefed on Beal’s intention to resign.

“She’s leaving,” Bridges said. “She has other item areas she’s exploring in her career.”

Ulmer said later in a phone interview that the school board stands by Beal’s decision.

“Her resignation letter was accepted by the board,” Ulmer said. “She’s leaving the district in good condition. She will be missed.”

Bridges echoed that sentiment later in an email.

“She will be missed because of the many contributions that she has made to Fairmont during her short time in the district,” she said. “She has increased the number of partnerships as well as enhanced those that were in place when she arrived.”

Beal’s resignation is to leave another top post vacant at Fairmont School District 89. Her departure will follow the exit of the district’s former superintendent, Sonya Whittaker, who left last spring.

“Her resignation has nothing to do with the former superintendent,” Bridges said.

Bridges added that she believes that Beal is leaving the school in good condition.

School district officials will look to begin a search for a new principal after its next superintendent is named. The anticipated start date for that new hire is July.

The board took action at their regular meeting in February selecting a firm to conduct the district’s superintendent search. A contract was awarded in the amount of $6,400 to the Illinois Association of School Boards.

Beal did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment on the matter by press time.

Bridges stressed that Beal will assume all of her assigned duties as principal through the end of June.

Bridges described Beal’s resignation letter as “appreciative, uplifting and thankful to the Board of Education for the opportunity to serve the students and staff at Fairmont.”

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