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updated: 12/16/2013 4:19 PM

Barrington Hills school principal on paid leave

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The principal of Countryside Elementary School in Barrington Hills is on temporary paid leave because of what Barrington Unit District 220 officials call an internal matter.

Kimberly Foster-Thomas' administrative leave was mutually agreed to as the best way for both she and the district to resolve the confidential personnel matter, district spokesman Jeff Arnett said.

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"This leave is not related to any concern raised by a student or parent," Arnett said. Neither is it a matter related to any type of law enforcement investigation, he added.

In a letter sent to Countryside School parents on Friday, Superintendent Tom Leonard wrote, "Because the nature of her leave is sensitive and confidential, I cannot share additional details about Mrs. Foster-Thomas' absence from school. Understandably, the lack of information may increase your curiosity, but please avoid making hasty and unnecessary assumptions."

The expected length of the leave is uncertain but will likely last at least a week, Arnett said.

Foster-Thomas is in her fourth year as principal of Countryside School, which has 425 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

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