Benson High Principal Anita Harkins is resigning due to personal issues.
Harkins sent a letter to Benson staff and families Monday announcing her resignation. Feb. 24 will be her last day.
“You may or may not know that during the holiday break I was out of the building taking care of personal concerns,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, these issues continue to require a lot of my time and make it incredibly difficult for me to give 100 percent of my time, effort and attention to the students, staff, parents, alumni and community at Benson High School.”
In the letter, Harkins said she needed to prioritize her family and focus on her health.
Harkins has been principal at the school for seven years. She was previously the principal of Norris Middle School.
The enrollment at Benson, the district’s smallest high school, has been growing in recent years. In 2015, the school established what it calls a “wall-to-wall career academy” to help students explore different career pathways.
Starting in sophomore year, students pick from one of three career academies: business and entrepreneurship, health professions, or construction and design. Students still take core classes such as math, language arts and science, but they also take career-focused classes in their chosen academy.
Harkins said the academies and other ongoing initiatives will continue. Benson also is undergoing an estimated $10 million renovation funded by the district’s 2014 bond program.
An interim principal and permanent replacement will be named in coming weeks and months.
“Our team of staff and students work hard every day and deserve the very best, and while it breaks my heart that I am unable to continue the Benson journey with each of you, I am confident that my replacement will carry the torch and continue this great journey we have embarked upon together,” Harkins wrote.