Schenectady County

Guilderland school board to discuss disputed reassignments

The Guilderland Central School District Board of Education will meet tonight to discuss the controve
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The Guilderland Central School District Board of Education will meet tonight to discuss the controversial transfer of two high school teachers.

The board is expected to meet in executive session at 6 p.m. tonight in the principal’s conference room at Guilderland High School to discuss the reassignment of Matt Nelligan and Anne Marie McNanus to Farnsworth Middle School. The two teachers were transferred after a district survey that determined the high school social studies department had a “locker room mentality”.

The transfer of the popular teachers has triggered an angry response among students and parents in the district who say they want the move discussed in public, not in a closed door session. Hundreds of students and teachers attended a school board meeting last week to protest the transfers.

District officials say it’s a personnel matter and cannot be discussed publicly.

Nelligan and McManus issued a joint written statement today protesting their pending transfers.

“We sincerely hope that the Board of Education, after hearing all of the facts, will agree to restore us to our teaching positions and schedules at the high school for 2008,” they wrote. “We also hope that the board will reverse the decision of Superintendent John W. McGuire that has served to divide and to potentially destroy an excellent Social Studies Department.”

Nelligan and McManus said they expect information presented to the school board will reveal that unfounded allegations were made against them.

“Based on these facts, we hope the board will conclude that both transfers are not justified by the claims made directly by the superintendent in various statements, including letters sent about our involvement in a negative climate which are defamatory to our good names and reputations throughout the Guilderland community,” their statement reads. “The superintendent’s actions have caused great pain not only to us personally, but also to the Social Studies Department and to our families, friends and to the Guilderland community as a whole.

McGuire could not be reached today.

The two teachers also thanked the students, former students, parents, community members, family and staff who have supported them and said they are proud of their students who have learned “how citizens can effect policy and correct injustice in our democratic system.”

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