Dear Residents,

At our Board of Education meeting on Monday night, strong opinions about a particular subject were brought to the Board during the period of public comment. As a result, we are compelled to offer our perspective on these opinions to the Springs UFSD community, especially in light of local newspaper coverage of the meeting.

There are two components of this issue that we must clarify:

  1. The former district clerk has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Education and Superintendent after she was not reappointed to the (annual) position of District Clerk, though she retains her other employment with the district. We believe the legal claims that have been made are without merit, and the district’s interests will be vigorously defended. At the meeting, Board of Education President Liz Mendelman told residents (based on legal counsel’s recommendation) that the Board’s comment on the matter would be limited so as to not compromise the district’s position in the case.  We believe that is good advice and will act accordingly. While we know this is frustrating to some – especially those who vocalized their concerns on Monday night – it is both a fair and prudent reaction on the part of the district.
  2. Some speakers leveled a litany of misstatements, exaggerations and falsehoods at the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools. These attacks, which concerned the hiring process for the Superintendent of Schools, are misplaced and unfortunate. Whether as Interim Superintendent or in his current capacity as Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Finello and the district have always abided by New York State hiring guidelines. Superintendent searches were conducted and communicated at our regular board meetings and Mr. Finello was clearly the most experienced and best candidate we could find for our district, which is not an easy task given our location. The move to a permanent (and full-time) Superintendent, which was approved by voters through the 2014 budget, was publicly discussed, written about by local media, and communicated to our residents in writing. We believe Mr. Finello is a great leader for our schools and is fulfilling his responsibilities and we are more than pleased with our decision to hire him as the district's full-time superintendent.

We all must reflect upon the need for thoughtful, respectful dialogue. Challenges articulated by the public are appropriate and welcome, and may even be the launching pad for positive change. But hostility and falsehoods should have no place in our school environment, certainly not as we stand as the role models for our community’s students.

Sincerely,

The Springs Board of Education