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Article updated: 12/3/2012 5:37 PM

Prairie Crossing Charter School leader says he's leaving

Nigel Whittington

Nigel Whittington

 
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Prairie Crossing Charter School's boss has announced he's departing at the end of the current academic year.

Nigel Whittington made his resignation public in an email to the Grayslake public choice school's parents and others Monday. He has been executive director since July 2010.

Prairie Crossing board President Steve Achtemeier said Whittington is leaving by his own choice. Achtemeier complimented Whittington for assembling a quality staff and helping to lead the school back to its mission of having an environmentally focused curriculum.

"We're sad to see him go," Achtemeier said. "He's been a great visionary and a great leader."

Born in England, Whittington was finishing his master's degree in educational administration at University of Idaho when Prairie Crossing hired him in 2010. He was deputy head of school at Island Academy in Antigua, West Indies, in the 2008-09 academic year.

Whittington replaced Myron Dagley, who led the school from August 2006 to July 2010. In his statement, Whittington said he'll remain committed to projects such as Sustainable Schoolyard during the rest of his time at Prairie Crossing.

Sustainable Schoolyard calls for a large greenhouse that can accommodate an entire class, a small fruit-tree orchard and outdoor space for reflection and learning on the Prairie Crossing campus.

"Our top priority remains educating our students and supporting those who teach and mentor the students on a daily basis," he said in his announcement.

Whittington, who couldn't be reached for elaboration, was criticized by some parents at board meetings in December 2011 after he placed then-principal Brian Greene on administrative leave. Prairie Crossing board members eventually fired Greene.

Prairie Crossing is a choice school that opened in 1999 to serve kindergarten through eighth grade. Parents in Woodland Elementary District 50 and Fremont Elementary District 79 may send their children at no extra cost to the 392-student-capacity school, which determines enrollment by lottery.

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