Amy Lyons, the interim superintendent for the Bayfield School District, unexpectedly emailed her resignation to the board and staff on Tuesday afternoon.
"My decision today to leave was reinforced by events during the Feb. 27 board executive session and throughout our recent principal hiring process," she wrote. "This was the 'straw that broke the camel's back,' and I saw the 'writing was on the wall' in regards to any chance I have of earning the superintendent's position permanently."
Her full letter is on this week's opinion page.
"I have worked in public education for many years now and it saddens me to say that I have never encountered more unsupportive, unprofessional individuals, nor an environment of intimidation by those elected to serve the district and our children," she continued in her letter. "Should this continue, it will impair the ability to recruit quality staff. All involved must be pulling in the same direction, mutually supportive of each other."
At a school board meeting Tuesday night, members said they had not yet voted to accept her resignation.
Several members of the public attended the meeting to express support for Lyons.
"It must have taken a lot for her" to quit suddenly, said Robin Duffy-Wirth, a former member of the board. "This is such a black mark on the Bayfield School District - that she did not receive your support."
Former Superintendent Troy Zabel took a medical leave last spring while he was being treated for cancer. Lyons was named interim superintendent last summer and applied for the permanent position in the fall.
"She was asked to be a candidate," Board President Janie Hoover told people at the board meeting.
"This is a strong statement," said Mike Milner, a teacher at Bayfield Middle School. He said he was "disheartened" by Lyons' decision and was worried for the future of the district.
Angela Juarez Monger, a mother of Bayfield students and volunteer on the Parent Teacher Student Association, said she was "truly disappointed" to hear of Lyons' resignation.
"Amy is the best person for the position," she said.
Daniele Hillyer, a member of the board, thanked people for attending the meeting.
"We value what was said to us," she said.
Lyons started as the district's finance director in 2005 and remained in the position until she was named interim superintendent.
The board moved into executive session to discuss personnel and student matters after the short meeting.