The Jordan- Elbridge school board spent an hour in executive session with legal counsel just a day the Post Standard reported Director of Operations Paula VanMinos was spending nights at Interim Superintendent Lawrence Zacher's Skaneateles apartment. Zacher had signed off on a generous contract for VanMinos that would pay her more than $300,000 even if she didn't receive tenure. Zacher had also recommended it to the board.
When the board left executive session, they unanimously voted to end the employment of both Zacher and VanMinos. Zacher will be given ten days pay. Board members told the audience that under education law, VanMinos must be suspended with pay for sixty days before she can be terminated.
School Board President Mary Alley said the board was "angry and disappointed with the current issues." Cayuga Onondaga BOCES Superintendent William Speck was named as the new Interim Superintendent.
"The board needed to move forward with immediate action, I believe the board made a concise and decisive action that was for the betterment of this school district," said Speck
Speck added that he believed the contact between Zacher and VanMinos was "improper" though he did not classify the nature of their relationship. Speck said "I believe the credibility of leadership is critical for any district."
Parents applauded the board several times during the announcement. After the meeting, parent Kris Humphreys cried as she described how difficult the past few months have been.
"It's taken a toll on all of us and I truly believe that tonight was a huge step in restoring faith in our board and community," said Humphreys.
The board passed four resolutions that essentially ended Zacher and VanMinos' employment. The board said VanMinos' contract was void because it was approved without consultation with legal counsel. If the contract was void, the district would not have to pay VanMinos the $300,000 it promised her.A special meeting Monday night in the Jordan-Elbridge School District has lead to the termination of the district's director of operations and the interim superintendent.
Director of Operations Paula VanMinos will receive 60 days pay due to terms of her contract. Interim Superintendent Lawrence Zacher was also fired. He will receive 10 days pay. Both firings are effectively immediately. William Speck was named interim superintendent.
The board says it is very disappointed with reports that VanMinos had a stipulation in her contract that guaranteed the district would pay three years salary--about $300,000--if she did not receive tenure.
We'll have much more on this story on the CW6 News at 10 and NBC3 and CBS5 News at 11.