By Bob Skolnik
Adam Gibbons, who has been on unpaid leave from his job as a history teacher at Riverside-Brookfield high School for the past two years, will not return to the school in the future after submitting his resignation last week.
Gibbons sent a letter of resignation to District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis on Jan. 21, and the school board voted unanimously to accept Gibbons' resignation at its Jan.23 meeting. The resignation is officially effective June 1.
Teachers at RBHS can take no more than two years of unpaid leave before they must either return to the job or resign.
"I have enjoyed my time at RB, but my present situation is in many ways more beneficial for me and my family," Gibbons wrote to Skinkis in his resignation letter, which the Landmark obtained with a public records request. "The valuable time I've been spending with my wife and children far outweighs any material benefits which I might gain my coming back to the district next school year."
Gibbons began teaching at RBHS in 1999 and had a reputation as an intense, demanding teacher. He was the sole teacher of the Advanced Placement European History class, the first AP class taken by many RBHS students. He also taught AP U.S. History and other classes.
During the 2015-16 school year, a number of students in one of Gibbons' AP U.S. History classes complained to administrators about his teaching style and what some perceived as favoritism towards certain students. There was also concern that Gibbons was too friendly with a couple of students.
In February 2016, Principal Kristin Smetana gave Gibbons a Notice to Remedy letter outlining certain changes he had to make to keep his job. A couple of months later, Gibbons submitted a one-year leave of absence, and then asked for it to be extended another year in early 2017.
During that time, Gibbons has worked part time as a tutor while writing "An Illustrated History of Campton Township," in Kane County. In his resignation letter, Gibbons remarks that the book "has sold out of its second printing" and that he has begun work on a new book about the history of the far-west suburban village of Geneva.