Here is a statement from Des Moines Schools Superintendent Teree Caldwell-Johnson, released Saturday afternoon in response to media inquiries:
As you know, on May 10, Nancy Sebring resigned as Superintendent for "personal reasons".
At the time of her resignation, there was a public records request from the Omaha World Herald for some of Dr. Sebring's correspondence. Some emails discovered in complying with the public records request were of a very personal nature and all were written on the Superintendent's school district email account. When staff were reviewing the documents gathered for the public records request and discovered these particular emails, they brought them to the immediate attention of the School Board.
Once brought to the attention of the Board we took swift and decisive action and a result Dr. Sebring chose to advance her resignation.
Dr. Sebring's actions showed poor judgment. Our parents, students, staff and taxpayers have the right to expect and demand the highest level of professionalism from the leader of its public school system. Given her actions in this situation, Dr. Sebring realized that she could no longer remain as our superintendent.
To be fair, as Superintendent, Dr. Sebring accomplished many things that we can all be proud of: from the trends in student proficiency and graduation rates to expanding programs such as IB and AP to managing the district during challenging economic times. That record of accomplishment earned her the right to be a candidate to lead larger school districts, and for that she should be commended. In spite of the matter that led to her resignation, we wish Dr. Sebring nothing but the best in the future.
DMPS is fortunate to have nearly 5,000 employees who contribute each and every day to the education of our children, and play a significant role in the gains and accomplishments made over the course of the past several years. With the appointment of Tom Ahart as Interim Superintendent we are confident that he will provide the leadership necessary to keep our district on the right track moving forward.
Even in the midst of all the chaos and distractions DMPS is poised to move forward. There are many pressing matters before us and the Board is prepared to meet each and every one of them head on including the search for our next superintendent which will be underway shortly.