Evanston Now has learned that the director of special education at Evanston Township High School, Diona Lewis, is on paid administrative leave.

Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that Lewis has been on leave since October.

Diona Lewis.

A letter to Lewis from Scott Bramley, assistant superintendent for human resources, states that “I am writing to inform you that the District is placing you on paid administrative leave pending investigation effective today, October 3, 2022.”

Personnel records received under the FOIA request do not indicate reasons for Lewis being placed on leave, how long it may last, nor any specifics on what the “investigation” is looking into.

The documents do state that Lewis is an ETHS graduate and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Northwestern University in 1999. She also has a doctorate in education from the University of Phoenix.

Before being hired by ETHS, Lewis was an assistant principal at Haven Middle School in District 65.

When the high school brought her on board in mid-2020, her salary was listed as $152,000 per year.

Evanston Now has tried to contact Lewis but has been unsuccessful.

Ironically, the letter placing Lewis on leave came from an administrator who was put into the human resources position after the prior HR director and her assistant left under a cloud.

In October 2021, then Chief Human Resources Officer Tonya Campbell and Assistant Chief HR Officer Yolanda Hardy were placed on paid leave.

Campbell retired and Hardy resigned in February 2022, but were still paid their salaries through the rest of the school year.

The district never revealed any reasons why the two HR leaders were placed on leave or why they left their positions.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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