Denise Esposito led the school at 11314 S. Spaulding Ave. for more than a decade, according to Mary Fahey Hughes, the chairwoman of the Local School Council.
"She sort of fell on the sword for the sake of the school," Hughes said Wednesday morning.
Cassell is facing $63,262 in cuts or 3.17 percent of its overall budget as part of a series of reductions handed down by Chicago Public Schools. The cutbacks are meant to save $120 million overall and were announced after stalled negotiations with the Chicago Teachers Union.
The Mount Greenwood school of 403 students was second among all the CPS schools in the 19th Ward in terms of the percentage of its overall budget that was slashed. And all signs pointed to the elimination of the assistant principal post, Hughes said.
Instead, assistant principal Cory Overstreet will become the interim principal when Esposito retires on March 1, said Hughes, who believes Esposito was planning to retire at the end of the year anyway.
Messages left for Esposito and Overstreet were not returned Wednesday.
Hughes believes Overstreet will apply for the position of principal once the local school council begins its search for Esposito's replacement. Meanwhile, she said the move did not come as much of a shock to those at the attending meeting, adding a third option for satisfying the mandated cuts would have been the elimination of as many as three teachers in the lower grades.
"I think people were very appreciative of the move, and they understood that it was for the sake of keeping continuity in the school," Hughes said.
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