Below is a letter from New Rochelle school officials to Trinity Elementary School parents regarding the recent abrupt resignation of Assistant Principal Nadine Pacheco, which Ned Rauch reported on in a story today. Pacheco’s own letter to the school community follows.
To the Members of the Trinity School Community:
We apologize for the manner in which the recent resignation of the Assistant Principal at Trinity Elementary School was communicated. We hope that this letter will clarify and address any remaining concerns.
We have recently learned that, in the fall of 2009, Assistant Principal, Nadine Pacheco, realized and indicated to our Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources that her provisional School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) administrative certificate had expired. Mrs. Pacheco was advised that as long as she enrolled in a School Building Leader (SBL) certification program, she would be able to continue in her position. We now understand that this advice was not correct.
In early October, recently appointed Assistant to the Superintendent for Human Resources, Reza Kolahifar, was made aware of the fact that Mrs. Pacheco’s provisional certificate had expired and that being enrolled in a SBL program was not sufficient. Mr. Kolahifar immediately brought it to the attention of the Superintendent of Schools.
Mr. Organisciak met with Mr. Kolahifar, Principal Rolando Briceno, and Mrs. Pacheco and, after again verifying that she lacked the current certification, requested her resignation as Assistant Principal. Within two days, she delivered her resignation letter. It is our belief that Mrs. Pacheco’s performance in a school leadership role over the past four years and maintaining administrative stability should be the major determinants in how best to proceed. Accordingly, it has been recommended to the Board that they accept Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation as the Assistant Principal of Trinity School. It has also been recommended that Mrs. Pacheco be able to continue to serve at Trinity School in a teacher role, for which she possesses permanent certification, and temporarily maintain those leadership functions which she can be assigned in the capacity of a teacher. These would include: program development, providing professional development support to staff, student management, and handling matters related to students and their families. Without appropriate administrative certification, Mrs. Pacheco cannot formally observe and evaluate staff and, as a result, additional supervisory support will be needed. In the coming weeks, we will decide how best to provide this support and further discuss this temporary course of action.
Finally, we believe it is important to mention that until the Board of Education and administration had the opportunity to review this matter, specific details could not be discussed. We hope this answers your questions and provides a measure of reassurance of our commitment to the Trinity School community. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Superintendent directly at 914-576-4200 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chrisanne M. Petrone
President of the Board of Education
Superintendent of Schools
And here’s Pacheco’s own letter:
Dear Trinity Families,
I would like to take this opportunity to explain my decision to resign as the Assistant Principal of Trinity Elementary School.
I have been fortunate to be an employee of the City School District of New Rochelle since December 1995. During this time I have happily and dutifully served as a second grade teacher, the Administrative Assistant to the Principal and Assistant Principal. In my sixteen years with the district, I have always sought to conduct myself in a respectful, honest and professional manner. It is with this same respect and honesty that I would like to report the details of my decision to resign.
Upon receiving my administrative certificate in 2001 through a Master’s program at the College of New Rochelle, I provided the Office of Human Resources with a copy of my transcript and administrative license. At that time I was teaching second grade at Davis Elementary School. In 2007, a posting for the position of Administrative Assistant to the Principal at Trinity Elementary School was advertised. I applied, interviewed, and after a selection process was offered the position. At that point in time, I was under the impression that my certification was current. In the Spring 2009, the position of Assistant Principal of Trinity Elementary became available. I applied and, after a series of interviews, I was offered and accepted the position. I had no recollection that my license had expired. In a conversation with Mr. Briceño in the fall of 2009 about the permanent administrative certificate that he had just received in the mail, I questioned why I had not received the same. I immediately contacted the Office of Human Resources to inquire about the status of my certification. Once I was aware that my certification had lapsed, I was advised to enter a School Building Leader certification program. I researched and subsequently enrolled in a Master’s Program at the College of New Rochelle that should satisfy the requirements needed to obtain permanent certification by May 2012.
This has been a very troubling experience for me and my family. I am deeply saddened by my oversight and hope that this oversight does not tarnish the recent achievements realized by the students and staff at Trinity School.
Nadine A. Pacheco