Saturday, March 10, 2012
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Welton L. "Tony" Sawyer is In Trouble Again
Oh my goodness. I am so totally shocked over the ouster of Welton L "Tony" Sawyer from the position of Superintendent in Mount Vernon over a sexual relationship with a teacher and then giving her a position she was not qualified to have....
When Welton "Tony" L. Sawyer was Superintendent of District 3 in Manhattan, a group of parents - including me - went to him in protest of the removal of one of the most popular teachers ever at La Guardia HS For The Performing Arts (one of my daughters was there, graduated in 2005). His name is "John Doe", brother of Dan, the principal of PS 6 who was appointed after Carmen Farina was removed and upgraded to Superintendent of District 15 in Brooklyn (where she covered up her placement of Brooklyn Tech's Principal Lee MacCaskill's daughter in an elementary school although both Lee and his wife lived in New Jersey - see the story of Steve Ostrin) . Bad administrators simply are transferred, continuously, until they retire. To what do we owe this disdain for law and rules, as well as for public money misspent? I think it is the arrogance of immunity, the "you cant do anything to me so I dont care what you think" attitude that in New York City public schools is the way things are run.
Gotta change this.
MOUNT VERNON — It appears suspended schools Superintendent Welton Sawyer is gone for good.
A Board of Education resolution, to be released publicly today, extends Acting Superintendent Waveline Bennett-Conroy’s term through July 31 — a month after Sawyer’s five-year contract is set to expire.
Bennett-Conroy was originally asked to serve in the temporary role through Dec. 31, after the board suspended Sawyer on undisclosed personnel charges during in early November.
In another closed-door meeting Dec. 21, the board adopted the resolution to keep Bennett-Conroy in her acting leadership role for the first seven months of 2012. She was previously district pupil personnel director.
The district, meanwhile, is beginning its search for a permanent replacement.
Board member Elias Gootzeit, who opposed Sawyer’s ouster, said Thursday he is inviting parents, educators, elected officials and other community leader to join a new search committee, which he will chair.
“Once the decision with the prior superintendent was made, I got involved in choosing the next one,” Gootzeit said. “My feeling is the community has to go on.”
Gootzeit said the committee will hold its first meeting Jan. 24 to discuss desired qualities in a new schools chief and whether the search should be national or internal.
Board member Lynn McBride said Thursday that Sawyer is still on paid leave.
However, several other board members reached by phone remained tight-lipped on the matter, saying they could be sued for disclosing any information — including the charges against Sawyer, the dates of a hearing, and even basic details of his employment status.
The board’s attorney, Gus Mountanos of Ingerman Smith, declined to comment — “at least at this time” — on Thursday.
Sawyer’s contract says if the board files personnel charges against him, he is entitled to a fair hearing before an independent officer upon at least 30 days notice. The hearing can be in public or private, and if the sides cannot agree on the choice of a hearing officer within 15 days, the case can go into arbitration. It also requires that he continue to receive full pay and benefits during his suspension.
Sawyer is due to be paid a salary of $269,000 this school year, the fifth and final year of his contract.
The former superintendent could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
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