Carthage R-9 School Superintendent Sean Smith is on leave while the Board of Education looks into questions about his performance.

Carthage R-9 School Superintendent Sean Smith is on leave while the Board of Education looks into questions about his performance.

Board President Tony Diggs made the announcement on Wednesday in an emailed statement to the media.

In a telephone interview with The Carthage Press, Diggs said the board placed Dr. Smith on leave at a special board meeting held on June 29.

“A closed session was held and several things were discussed at that meeting,” Diggs said. “This was one of the things that was discussed.”

Dr. Smith declined to comment on the situation when contacted by phone Wednesday afternoon.

“I can't really comment on any of this,” Smith said. “I would be remiss if I made any statement at this time.

Here is Diggs' emailed statement in its entirety:

“Recently several issues concerning Dr. Smith’s performance were brought to the board’s attention. Dr. Smith will be on leave while the board makes inquiries into the issues raised and reviews the basis of those concerns.

“Until Dr. Smith’s return, please forward any issues that would otherwise be directed to Dr. Smith’s attention to Dr. Baker. With the start of school around the corner, we appreciate your patience as we work through this process to fulfill our commitment to our students and staff and we prepare for a highly successful school year.”

Dr. Baker is Mark Baker, assistant superintendent for business, who will serve as acting superintendent until the inquiry is completed.

Diggs declined to give any other details about the inquiry or the issues involved.

He also declined to say who brought the issues to the Board's attention. He didn't know how long the inquiry would take.

“I have no comment on the personnel involved in this matter,” Diggs said. “Concerns were brought to the board and the board will take its time to ask questions and address any concerns.”

Diggs said he believes Dr. Smith will return to his position after the questions raised have been answered.

"That's the intent," Diggs said. "The intent is we will look into these concerns and address them. There is no given direction that Dr. Smith will not return after the concerns are answered."