A southeast Iowa superintendent has abruptly resigned, just weeks before students are to return for classes. David Schmitt — superintendent of schools in Washington, Iowa — resigned Wednesday evening after the school board and Schmitt met in private for about five hours. He read a statement after the board convened in public session.

"In the view of the upcoming challenges and issues facing Washington Community Schools, I believe that it is appropriate that there be a transition of leadership in the district as a result I have decided to resign my position as Superintendent of Washington Community School District effective immediately," he said.

Schmitt had been Washington’s superintendent since 2003. The school board’s president declined to comment on the boards private meeting with Schmitt. In his statement to the public, Schmitt revealed none of the details either.

"I am very proud there have been significant accomplishments and improvements in educational programs offered to students of the district during my tenure. I plan to finish my dissertation then to complete my doctorate and pursue other options in education," said Schmitt. Schmitt then got up and left the board room.

In mid-July, a former Washington, Iowa principal accused of stealing from the school district reached a plea agreement with authorities. Monte Davis pleaded guilty to one count of theft and to four counts of felonious misconduct in office. Davis was accused of falsifying reimbursement requests for school supplies while he was junior high principal in Washington, Iowa.

A special state audit found more than $20,000 in either improper and questionable disbursements or deposited funds while Davis was principal of the school.