School district suspends co-principal

By Lina Wu
Posted 7/8/20

The Newburgh Enlarged City School District [NECSD] Board of Education [BOE] officially swore-in its recently elected board members at last Wednesday’s organizational and regular …

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School district suspends co-principal

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The Newburgh Enlarged City School District [NECSD] Board of Education [BOE] officially swore-in its recently elected board members at last Wednesday’s organizational and regular meeting.

Incumbents Carole Mineo, William Walker, and Darren Stridiron accepted their new terms. Former member Mark Levinstein accepted a return to the BOE.

Mineo was re-elected BOE President for the new school year. Philip Howard was re-elected BOE Vice President for the new school year. Both decisions are only active for the incoming school year.

The board also suspended Raul Rodriguez without pay. Rodriguez served as co-principal at NFA. He is suspended without pay during the pendency of any section of section 3020- a education law proceedings.

Cassie Sklarz, NECSD communications strategist, said that she had no information at this time on the change in leadership.

Edgar Glascott was appointed acting co-principal. Glascott was given a leave of absence from his position as athletic director to be co-principal.

Howard Harrison was appointed as acting athletic director. Harrison was given a leave of absence from his position as Supervisor of Athletics and Physical Education for the duration of his time as acting athletic director.

The BOE also transferred Ellen Helgans from assistant principal at Temple Hill Academy to assistant principal between the Balmville and Horizons-on-the-Hudson Elementary Schools.

An addendum agreement was added to Superintendent Dr. Roberto Padilla’s employment agreement. The addendum will extend his contract to 2025.

Stridiron voted against the addendum.

“I think the data shows that in six years we haven’t made much progress in many areas,” said Stridiron. “We have done some culture change, which I do, I’m very happy about. I think a lot of the changes that are made are because of everyone’s work.”

“Dr. Padilla does have a part of that, so I do acknowledge that,” said Stridiron. “He is the leader of the district in that sense. But I don’t think the outcomes that we have had in the last six years are what we expected, and I am really very saddened to see an extension at this time.”

Padilla also presented updates on the potential physical reopening of schools.

New York State, and the Department of Education have facilitated regional sessions to get input regarding some of the challenges and thoughts regarding reopening.

Over the next week, the district plans to put on its website critical information as it relates to the work of reopening. The district also hopes to engage in another thought exchange.

“We really want to hear from the community, this is going to be an opportunity to listen,” said Padilla.

Padilla emphasized that learning does need in person relationships. He said the district must listen and develop a plan of partnership.

“This pandemic is ravishing our community, lots of families have lost loved ones,” said Padilla. “No matter what we do, we have to continue to reflect and refine.”

He said the district must create opportunities for self and collective care.

New York should have a guidance document available in the next two to three weeks. No date has been issued by the state yet for the expected plans for schools in the fall.

The district expects to have a hybrid format of in-person learning and distant learning. Padilla said he will share variations of the hybrid model at future board meetings.

note: The line, "Cassie Sklarz, NECSD communications strategist, said that she had no information at this time on his suspension," has been changed to "Cassie Sklarz, NECSD communications strategist, said that she had no information at this time on the change in leadership."

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