KANELAND—Kaneland Athletic Director Leigh Jaffke has stepped down from her position.
Jaffke turned in her letter of resignation prior to the Kaneland School Board’s meeting on Oct. 16. She had served as the district’s athletic director for 14 years.
Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said he doesn’t know the reason for Jaffke’s departure.
“I do not know the answer to that,” Schuler said. “She resigned on her own. We were not aware that we were going to be getting a resignation.”
Schuler said the resignation was received “just before the board meeting.”
“Leigh has been dedicated to our athletic program for our students for the last 14 years,” Schuler said. “We appreciate that.”
Jaffke could not be reached for comment.
Anna Piazza, 17, a KHS senior, said she wondered where Jaffke was as of late, and had not seen her in the high school’s commons area, on the way to the locker room or in the hallway.
“She always greeted me with a smile,” Piazza said. “And she always knew who I was and that I was an athlete. And so even though we were never really close and never had a lot of interaction, I thought she was really nice.”
Diane Piazza, Anna’s mother, said she was surprised to hear about Jaffke’s resignation.
“I would see Leigh at football games,” Diane said. “But I have seen her at the soccer games. I’ve been in the building when there’s been wrestling meets, when there’s been basketball. I’ve seen her. She’s always been like a physical, visual presence.”
A letter written by Schuler to the Kaneland staff and community was sent last week concerning the resignation. It explained that KHS Assistant Principal Mike Rice will oversee the Athletic Department until there is an interim athletic director.
Schuler noted in the letter that he anticipates the the position will be filled in an interim basis for the remainder of the school year. A search and interview process is expected to be be in the spring to hire a new athletic director.
Meanwhile, the admin known by some students as just “Jaffke” has not been forgotten.
“I’m really going to miss her,” Anna said. “I can’t really imagine the Athletic Department without her.”
Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, Kaneland’s assistant superintendent for Business, confirmed that Jaffke’s salary was $96,905.