After holiday program flap, District 64 superintendent announces resignation

Amid recent controversy and calls for his dismissal over changes to a holiday music program, Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Superintendent Eric Olson announced Monday he will resign at the end of the school year.

"Despite our irreconcilable differences, I am thankful for the opportunity to proudly serve the staff and families of the Park Ridge-Niles community," Olson said in an email to district parents. "I've formed many lasting relationships, and I will always champion the students and staff of District 64. There is still much work to be done to finish out the rest of the school year and to prepare for the next one."

Olson, whose last day will be June 30, joined District 64 in 2019 and navigated the district through the pandemic. He also oversaw the addition of full-day kindergarten, the relocation of the district office and the implementation of a strategic plan. More recently, the district began work on a student services action plan that will focus on specific goals of special education.

However, Olson faced criticism and demands for his firing in November after the district announced plans to change its annual Holiday Sing program into the Spring Sing. Some parents claimed the move, which later was reversed, was anti-Christmas.

A month later, several parents appeared before the district's board of education to voice support for Olson.

Olson will aid in the transition process as the board will now search for a new superintendent, officials said.

Before joining District 64, Olson served as assistant superintendent for student learning at Arlington Heights Elementary School District 25 for five years, and as principal at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights.

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