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More time to study Housatonic resignations

FALLS VILLAGE — The attorney conducting an independent review of the August resignations of two top school officials asked for and received the authorization of the Region One Board of Education for more hours.

The action was taken at the regular monthly meeting of the board at Housatonic Valley Regional High School Monday, Nov. 1.

Board Chairman Judge Manning, who represents Sharon, said he had a telephone conversation with attorney Jeffrey C. Pingpank, who requested an extra five hours.

Pingpank told Manning that interviewing everyone who had expressed an interest would require going up to five hours over the original limit of 40 hours, set when the board hired Pingpank in September.

Pingpank’s fee is $200 per hour. The board voted to compensate Pingpank for the extra five hours, with Jonathan Moore of Kent abstaining.

Housatonic Principal Gretchen Foster and Assistant Principal Mary Ann Buchanan resigned in early August, forcing Region One officials and Housatonic faculty to scramble to make sure school was ready to open Aug. 30.

Recently retired social studies teacher David Bayersdorfer was tapped to fill in as interim assistant principal for the first day of school and beyond; he will remain in that position until late January, when the region and the board hope to have an assistant principal in place.

Herbert Tedford III started as interim Housatonic principal Oct. 18.

At the Nov. 1 board meeting, Region One School District Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain said the position of assistant principal would be posted the next day, Nov. 2, and got the board’s approval on the salary range ($100,000 to $108,000).

Chamberlain also specifically asked for the involvement of parents on the search committee for the assistant principal. Any parent interested may get in touch with Chamberlain at the Region One Central Office (see region1schools.org).

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