The Newburgh Board of Education voted to suspend Newburgh Free Academy Assistant Principal Katiana Simon and three other district employees, who were not identified, during their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 21.
The reasoning for the suspensions of the three unidentified employees was not publicly stated by the board of education during the meeting. It is unclear if these suspensions are in relation to the racially insensitive incident that occurred at NFA several weeks ago, to which the school had investigated and had released public statements on the district website.
NFA art teacher Nicole Mischo was reported to have posted a picture to her Facebook page that showed a picture of a student’s braided hair extension and compared it to a snake. Several commentators on the posting were reported employees of the district.
During the last several board of education meetings, members of the newly formed Newburgh Parent Alliance have appeared to address this issue and other racial related incidents in the district.
Several weeks ago, Interim Superintendent Ed Forgit, announced the appointment of Susan Valentino as acting co-principal for NFA Main. Valentino replaced co-principal Edgar Glascott who was reportedly escorted from the building on June 17.
Reasons for Glascott removal were unclear but have been attributed to Regents exam administration difficulties. Unconfirmed reports said that issues were experienced with the administration of a science Regents exam with students being sent to the wrong classrooms and teachers not knowing what to do in the ensuing confusion.
In 2013, Glascott resigned as Poughkeepsie High School principal following a settlement with the board of education over allegations that he gave students unauthorized accommodations during Regents exams.
The school district had released a statement to address the district’s concerns and for district parents to reach out if there were any questions. An audit of the exam administration was said to have been conducted by the district.
The Concerned Parents of NFA Instagram page had posted the online update from the district and interim superintendent to their page and also shared information about the regents exam administration during the course of the week.
Simon’s reason for suspension was not made public as well by the board. During a special board meeting held on Friday, June 24, the board voted to accept Simon’s resignation letter from the district.