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RCS superintendent to step down

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk district officials have confirmed the resignation of Superintendent Vicki Wright.

The resignation comes to light in the midst of lawsuit against her, the school's former board of education president, and a middle school teacher filed by fellow RCS teacher Daniel Pickett. The lawsuit deals with alleged discrimination against Pickett by the named faculty of the school after he spoke out against school polices at a public board of education meeting.

Pickett is also suing on the grounds that he was defamed and demoted following allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a student, which the student later publicly denied.

Pickett's lawyer Brendan Baynes says his civil rights under the First, Fourth and 14th amendments were violated. The suit alleges that the three infringed upon Pickett's rights to free speech, due process, and equal protection of the law.

The school director of communications Michael McCagg confirmed that Wright was resigning and that the board of education on Monday approved an addendum agreement to Wright's contract. The board also voted on its option to discontinue the employment relationship by no later than June 30, 2009.

There is no official word whether the lawsuit was a factor in Wright's resignation as of yet. McCagg said he couldn't comment on the reason for the resignation and deferred questions to the district's lawyer.

Wright has been with the district since 2003 and according to McCagg will remain actively employed as the district's superintendent until June 30, 2008. After that, her salary and benefits will be paid through the 2008-09 school year or until she begins employment with another district.

Wright is budgeted to make $146,419 next year.

It was mutually agreed upon by the board and Ms. Wright that this action represents the best option for the district and for her, said board President Mike Varney in a release. "We have great respect for much of what Ms. Wright has accomplished through her tenure at RCS. That said we believe it is time to move in a new direction."

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