Ogden International School looking for 5th leader in two years after principal takes job outside CPS

SHARE Ogden International School looking for 5th leader in two years after principal takes job outside CPS

Ogden International School is seeking its fifth principal in two years. | | James Foster for The Sun-Times

The principal of Ogden International School has taken a job outside of Chicago Public Schools, leaving the prekindergarten to 12th grade school immediately in search of its fifth leader in two bumpy years.

Writing to the Ogden community on Friday, Shane Goldstein Smith, the school’s interim principal since July, said she was “transitioning out of her administrative role around spring break,” which begins Friday.

“CPS will be supporting you in the transition to the end of the school year and in finding a contract principal,” she wrote in an email after a meeting with the school’s Local School Council president.

Smith, who went to Ogden from a position as second in command for the district’s Network 1 office, was brought in on an interim basis.

She’s relocating to New York, according to the school’s LSC. But her departure leaves CPS without a clear successor in place for Ogden, though the LSC said it will begin interviewing candidates in April and will hold a principal forum for staff and community in May.

CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey thanked Smith in a statement for 13 years of service to the district and said the district would help Ogden find a permanent replacement in a search that’s been underway since the fall. He said the LSC plans to award a new contract in the spring and the district will appoint an administrator to run the school if no one’s hired by May 2, when Smith’s resignation takes effect.

She did not return a message seeking comment.

Ogden International goes all the way from prekindergarten to 12th grade over two campuses, one at 24 W. Walton St., the other at 1250 W. Erie St.

Kenneth Staral led the school for about 17 years, promoting its International Baccalaureate programming for all ages. He resigned in August 2013, citing health concerns. But he had already been removed from the school along with an assistant principal and reassigned as the district began investigating some $17,000 he charged on his district-issued credit card at pricey restaurants and hotels abroad while promoting the school.

CPS installed an administrator-in-charge, retired Alcott School principal David Domovic, for the start of the 2013-14 school year.

In January 2014, Ogden’s LSC hired Joshua VanderJagt, a former Kenwood Academy High School assistant principal, as its contract principal, choosing from among more than 30 candidates. But VanderJagt asked for reassignment in the wake of May 2014 allegations a Jewish eighth-grade student at Ogden was the target of anti-Semetic bullying online and in school. He now is principal at Chicago Academy High School.

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