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Four- to Six-week Medical Leave for York Principal Includes Surgery at University of Chicago

Diana Smith shares her medical condition with York families and assures them "continuous administrative support" while she is gone.

York High School Principal Diana Smith will be taking a four- to six-week medical leave beginning Dec. 10, according to a letter she sent to parents on Monday.

"Because of the length of my absense, I felt it was important that you be fully aware of the reason for the leave," she wrote in her letter to parents. "I also want to assure you that we have a plan in place to provide continuous administrative support to students, staff and parents."

Smith said she visited a doctor last July for "an unrelenting headache." She said she was diagnosed with Chiari malformation, a condition in which the skull in the back of the head is too small, "causing excess pressure on the brain," Smith wrote.

The Chiari Center in Wisconsin says Chiari results in "compression of the brain stem or spinal cord at the base of the skull." Read more here. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides more information here,  and the Mayo Clinic discusses it here.

"To alleviate the symptoms, I will have surgery on Dec. 11 at the University of Chicago," she said, adding she plans to be back to work in mid- to late-January.

Smith said Assistant Principal Rob Wagner will act as interim principal. He can be reached at rwagner@elmhurst205.org, or by phone at (630) 617-2422.

Melanie Watkins Gold December 04, 2012 at 03:03 PM
As a parent at York with a child with the same condition I wish her nothing but the best. This condition can be very difficult to manage and hope she finds much needed relief.
Lived in 5 other metro areas... December 04, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I, too, will lift up some prayers for Ms. Smith. I hope recovery is bearable!
Fratello205 December 04, 2012 at 10:03 PM
We want to extend our best wishes for a successful procedure with a full and speedy recovery to Ms. Smith. She and the team at York have provided invaluable support to so many students and teachers dealing with medical situations over the years.

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