Guilderland school board upholds teacher transfer

Hy Dubowsky was one of only two board members to vote to overturn the superintendent's decision. Barbara Fraterrigo also voted to overturn the decision. They argued that the welfare of the students is paramount, and moving the four teachers around will not serve them best.

"We have only one thing to do, and that's what is best for the students," said Dubowsky.

He said the superintendent did not include the board in his decision to transfer the two teachers.

"As a board, we have only one employee -- the superintendent -- who reports to us and has an obligation to keep us informed. He did not, despite several requests before he took his sweeping unilateral action."

He said whether or not the board may disagree with him, "to keep the matter from the board was unconscionable."

He also said expecting the two middle school teachers to be able to step in and take over for Nelligan and McManus is similar to expecting minor league baseball players to fill in for the major leaguers.

"You're not going to replace A-Rod with someone coming up from Tidewater," Dubowsky said.

"My first and greatest concern must be the education and welfare of the students. In no way, do I believe, these four transfers are best for the education of the students," Fraterrigo said.

She said the redacted version of the culture climate inquiry is "almost useless to the public," and leaves out pivotal information.

She pointed out that Dr. Paludi concluded there was "banter" that could have been considered offensive, but it was not student centered or directed at any particular faculty member.

Nelligan said Dubowsky and Fraterrigo showed bravery and courage for speaking out against the board. He said each of the board members that voted to uphold the transfer had taken money from the union to run their campaigns, and he has criticized them for this, by name, publicly. He said this is the real reason he is being transferred.

Guilderland Teachers Association union representative Aaron Sicotte was present at the meeting, but president Maceo DuBois was not there.

New York State United Teachers said they are assisting in an "advisory capacity."

"At this point it is a very local matter," spokesman Carl Korn said.

Nelligan expected his local union president to show more support.

"It was kind of suspect to me that the union president wasn't present. With a strong union president this never would have happened," he said.""

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