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Mindy Shaw decision

Mindy Shaw decision

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Published by Daily Freeman
Rondout Valley school district, June 2014
Rondout Valley school district, June 2014

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Categories:Types, Legal forms
Published by: Daily Freeman on Jul 04, 2014
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07/13/2014

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1 Jeffery
 Michael
 Sherman, Hearing
 Officer
500
 N.
 Highland
 Avenue East Syracuse,
 NY
 13057-1810 315 399-9970 jefferysherman@twcny.rr.com
Hearing Officer's
 Decision
In
 The Matter of Charges Pursuant to
 New
 York
 State
 Education
 Law,
 Section 3020-a
RONDOUT
 VALLEY
 CENTRAL
 SCHOOL
 DISTRICT,
 Charging Party
nd
MINDY
 SHAW,
 Respondent
SED
 File
 Number 22,558
June
 3, 2014
 
2
B CKGROUND
In April
 2013
 Rondout
 Valley
 Central
 School District
 Superintendent of Schools
Rosario
 Agostaro chaired a
 budget
 meeting
 that
 William
 Cafiero, principal
 of
 the district's
 Marbletown
 Elementary
 School,
 attended.
 Agostaro discussed a
 2-3,
 multi-age classroom, and
 Cafiero
 participated
 in
 the discussion. Deputy Superintendent
 Timothy
Wade alleged,
 Mr.
 Cafiero's
 demeanor was very animated; he was
 loud"
 (Tr. 37). That
is
 the
 extent
 of
 the
 information
 in
 this record
 about
 the
 April
 budget
 meeting. It includes no agenda, minutes,
 notes,
 recordings, or other memoranda
 of
 the meeting. It includes no
information
 about
 the meeting, such as
 attendees,
 location,
 time, duration, or
 if
 the meeting was open, closed,
 public,
 or private. Wade is the only witness
 in
 this record to testify
 about
 how
 Cafiero
 allegedly conducted
 himself
 at
 that
 meeting. He testified
Cafiero
 "was, as I said, animated.
 He
 was
 loud.
 He said
 publicly
 that
 he had no knowledge
 of
 the
 2-3. Mr.
 Agostaro corrected
 him
 that
 he had spoken to
 him
 the day before, and I also knew
 that
 not to be
 true
 because
 I had spoken to
 him
 before the
 budget
meeting" (Tr. 38). That is the seed
 from
 which
 this
 tree
 grew. Agostaro
 did
 not
 appear
 or testify at any
 of
 the sixteen
 (16)
 hearings
 in
 this case. The day after the
 April
 budget
 meeting, Agostaro convened a meeting with
 Cafiero,
Wade, and, Assistant Superintendent
 for
 Curriculum
 and Instruction,
 Michelle
 Donlon,
 to admonish
 Cafiero
 that
 he must
 comply
 with
 all of
 the 2-3, multi-age classroom directives and
 policies. Cafiero
 candidly
 informed
 the meeting
 that
 a number
 ofteachers
 had expressed concerns
 about
 the 2-3, multi-age classroom and were composing a letter to the Rondout
 Valley
 Central
 School District Board
 of
 Education
 expressing their concerns. Agostaro and
 Donlon
 informed Cafiero
 that
 protocol required the
 teachers
 to express their concerns to Agostaro and
 Donlon
 before presenting them to the board.
 
3
After
 Cafiero left
 the meeting, Wade
 suggested
 secretly searching his email history to
 find
 out
 if
 he had
 been
 interacting
 with
 the
 teachers
 about
 their
 letter
 to the board regarding the 2-3, multi-age classroom. Agostaro authorized the search and Wade immediately initiated and conducted
 it. Donlon
 was
 aware
 of
 the search;
 Cafiero
 and the
respondent
 were not. Wade and
 Marbletown
 Elementary
 School
 Business Administrator Debra
 Kosinski
immediately conducted the search of
 Cafiero's
 email history. The
 following
 exchange took place between district counsel
 Michael
 Lambert and Wade on direct examination
Q.
 So you indicated you
 made
 a recommendation
 that
 a review
 of
 certain emails be conducted. Is
 that
 correct? (Hearing
 officer's
 emphasis)
A.
 Yes.
Q.
 Did
 that
 review
 take
 place?
Q.
 Can
 you
 tell
 us, as
 best
 as you can
 recall,
 what
 happened,
 how this actually took place?
A.
 I asked to see
 six
 weeks of
 all
 of
 Mr.
 Cafiero's emails. I and Debra
 Kosinsky
reviewed six weeks of emails, and
 within
 a very
 short
 period
 of
 time I
 came
upon emails
 that
 Mr.
 Cafiero
 had
 sent
 to
 Ms.
 Shaw with
 attachments
 of observations and
 requests that
 he had
 made
 regarding
 those
 observations. (Hearing
 Officer's
 e,phasis)
Q.
 Okay,
 let's
 go back for a second, sir.
 You
 indicated
 you
 reviewed
 those
emails?
(Tr.
 38-41):
A.
It did.
A.
Yes. Q.
How
 were
 those
 emails actually
 made
 available to you?
A.
Mr.
 McDermott,
 who is the district administrator for the network in technology, downloaded them to my computer.

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