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School officials mum on administrator's employment

Published 9:56 am, Thursday, July 17, 2014

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  • Darien school officials refuse to discuss the status of Judith Pandolfo, who served as the assistant superintendent of elementary education until the recently adopted system-wide reorganization eliminated her position. Photo: Megan Spicer / Darien News
    Darien school officials refuse to discuss the status of Judith Pandolfo, who served as the assistant superintendent of elementary education until the recently adopted system-wide reorganization eliminated her position. Photo: Megan Spicer

 

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Darien school officials refuse to discuss the status of Judith Pandolfo, who served as the assistant superintendent of elementary education until the recently adopted system-wide reorganization eliminated her position.

Interim Superintendent of Schools Lynne Pierson and Board of Education Chairman Betsy Hagerty-Ross call Pandolfo's employment with Darien Public Schools a personnel matter, and decline to comment further.

"This is a personnel matter that is in the hands of the superintendent," Hagerty-Ross said.

Pandolfo was hired in 2005 as an assistant superintendent and was paid a salary of $144,000. Her salary for 2013-14 was $188,008, according to the latest agreement between Pandolfo and the district. Since 2005, Pandolfo worked under a contract that was renewed every three years, according to information provided by the school system. Her 2011-14 contract expired on June 30.

When asked about an estimated date for when a decision would be made regarding Pandolfo, Pierson would not comment.

"I can't discuss that with you," she said.

However, Pandolfo's name and title have been removed from the district's website.

Pandolfo was unavailable for comment when contacted at her home, the school system's central offices and through the district email.

The Board of Education approved the administrative reorganization, which was developed by Pierson, on May 13.

Under the reorganization, the positions of assistant superintendents of secondary schools and of elementary education were combined into the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for K-12.

Tim Canty, who served as assistant superintendent of secondary schools, was appointed June 10 to the new job and will oversee the curriculum coordinators.

At the time of the board's approval of the restructuring, Pierson said that under Connecticut law, if tenured administrators, such as Pandolfo, are displaced during a reorganization, the administration will assign them to another available administrative position. However, the administrator can decline the reassignment, but doing so would mean having to resign or retire from Darien Public Schools.

The three available positions for Pandolfo, according to Pierson, are principal of Royle Elementary School, vice principal of Holmes Elementary School or director of technology, which was created with the reorganization scheme, Pierson said.

mspicer@bcnnew.com; 203-330-6583; @Meg_DarienNews