Oak Grove school board, superintendent working toward separation agreement

Green Oaks-based Oak Grove Elementary District 68 and its superintendent of four years are preparing to part ways.

The school board and Superintendent Allison Sherman are “working toward an amicable and mutual separation,” according to a message to families Monday, the last day of school in the K-8 district.

The school board cited “tremendous academic achievement growth” and other kudos during Sherman’s tenure, adding it was eagerly awaiting word on whether District 68 has earned the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School award for work in the last few years.

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“Stemming from her commitment to student achievement in a supportive and inclusive environment, our district has grown in ways that truly benefit our students,” the message concluded.

But there was no hint of why a separation was in the works. Sherman still is listed as top administrator on the district website, but neither she nor the school board would comment or elaborate.

School board President Raabia Khan in an email said it was a “personnel matter” and declined to comment.

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Sherman, in an email response Tuesday, said the statement was collaborative between her and the board and all the parties want to share at this time.

In the monthly message from the superintendent on May 3, Sherman said she was “cherishing this time of reflection and celebration” during the final stretch of the school year but didn’t mention a pending departure.

The school board on May 23 sent a lengthy message to staff and families to “provide clear information to address misinformation” in the community and about Sherman, other administrators and the strategic planning process.

According to the message, a review of a situation involving Hazard, Young, Attea Associates, which was selected Feb. 1 for “strategic planning support,” found no wrongdoing, cause for administrative leave or ethics violations by Sherman or school staff.

In late 2019, Sherman was overseeing the support and accountability plan of the Every Student Succeeds Act for the Illinois State Board of Education, when she was selected from among 37 candidates following a statewide search to replace outgoing Superintendent Lonny Lemon, who was retiring after eight years in the position.

Sherman joined District 68 as an associate superintendent in late February 2020 to transition with Lemon and faced an immediate test with the onset of the coronavirus.

In August 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Oak Grove and Rondout Elementary District 72 — its neighbor to the south — were among the few schools in Lake County with students in classrooms to begin the 2020-21 school year.

Sherman was renewed in 2022 with a four-year contract. She earned $237,319 in the 2023 school year, according to district information.

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