BETHLEHEM — A high school administrator soliciting his consulting services to help would-be teachers land a job, now finds himself on leave.
Bethlehem Central High School Principal Scott Landry was placed on leave this week, as confirmed through a statement issued by the district’s interim superintendent Jody Monroe.
“Mr. Landry’s administrative leave is a current ongoing personnel matter,” stated Monroe in an email to The Spotlight. “The district’s procedure to not discuss personnel matters publicly is because they are very sensitive in nature. Our procedure remains consistent, regardless of the employee, their position in the district, or the issue at hand, so we maintain the integrity of the district as a whole.”
Landry directed all questions to Jennifer Carlson, a lawyer appointed to him through the state’s administrator’s union, School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS). Messages left with Carlson’s office at SAANYS were not returned in time of this publication. However, according to a report through the Times Union, Landry said he was placed on leave on Monday, May 9, in relation to a consulting service he provided to aid people seeking jobs in education.
Landry attended a district wide job fair at Guilderland Senior High School in April, representing Bethlehem Central among 20 local schools. The event was arranged to pair school officials with job seekers in all areas of school operation, including teachers, teacher aides, clerical and custodial workers. While there, school representatives met and exchanged contact information.
Approximately four days later, Landry sent the following solicitation to candidates he met while at the job fair from his personal email account.
The Bethlehem Central School District refused comment on a question specifically referring to Landry’s consulting service and whether it played a role in his current status with the school. Monroe reiterated it was a “personnel” matter, and “very sensitive” issue.
As principal of the high school, Landry would partake in the hiring of teachers for Bethlehem Central High School. “I have over 20 years in education and currently am the Principal of the number one ranked high school in the Capital District — and in those years I have interviewed hundreds of potential candidates,” states Landry’s solicitation. He further promises to make the candidate the “one teacher everyone wants to hire,” after advertising an introductory fee of $75.
Landry told the Times Union he returned the money he had received, despite feeling he did nothing wrong. He continued to say he felt the disciplinary action against him was in retaliation for an alarming assessment of the district’s Lab School in 2014.
QUESTARIII serves the school district for internal audits. In 2014, an audit was conducted on the internal controls of the Lab School. Upon conclusion of the review, the audit outlined nearly a dozen different recommendations for change once published the following July. Several of the recommendations addressed matters where the program failed to follow basic bookkeeping practices for deposits and expenditures.
Mike Klugman, principal of Bethlehem Central Middle School, now sits as interim principal of Bethlehem Central High School for the remainder of the year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: It was previously reported the district had sought out the services of QUESTARIII to specifically audit the Lab School in 2014. QUESTARIII serves the school district for internal audits.
Michael Hallisey is managing editor of Spotlight Newspapers.