Former Schenectady Superintendent Laurence Spring, who resigned in March with a nondisclosure agreement and under a cloud of sexual harassment allegations, is promoting a new business as an organizational consultant.
Spring established Valorem Change Consultants, indicating on a new website that he now lives in Rochester with his wife and two daughters. The consultant business appears to be focused on assisting organizations in the midst of large changes, and promotional material claims Spring has spent time in the past year developing a “groundbreaking piece of software” to help organizations.
“Mr. Spring has retired from serving in the public school system to start his own consulting firm to develop and promote a groundbreaking piece of software meant to measure capacity of an organization to achieve change from within,” according to a business Facebook page for Valorem Change Consultants.
Spring’s retirement, though, which came just a few weeks after the district and schools across the state abruptly shifted to all-remote education in the midst of the pandemic, was shrouded in mystery as both he and the Schenectady school board refused to answer questions about his departure.
The school board accepted Spring’s resignation at its March 25 board meeting and the following day released an exit agreement the board approved that included a nondisclosure clause barring board members from making “any statement to any person or entity, whether oral or written, that disparages Mr. Spring.”
The Times Union later reported that in the runup to his departure, the school board had hired a law firm to investigate allegations that Spring sexually harassed women working in the district, and the firm concluded that Spring had a pattern of targeting female employees in the district.
Spring earned a salary of just over $205,000 last school year, up from $181,200 when he joined the district in 2012, an over 13 percent increase spread over multiple raises during his tenure.
The school board is still working to fill Spring’s vacancy with a permanent replacement, apparently narrowing the field of candidates to just one applicant after a second finalist withdrew from the final stages of the hiring process.
Blog posts and articles promoting Spring’s new consultant business started to appear online in January, circulating the promotional materials on various automated sites. Some of the promotional material references his experience in Schenectady schools.
“On a mission to ensure that race, economics, and disability no longer serve as predictors of achievement, Laurence Spring believes that everyone should have the tools they need to succeed,” read some of the promotional materials, echoing language Spring used as Schenectady schools leader.
It’s not clear whether Spring plans to pursue contracts with public school systems or whether he has yet established clients. The main website does not specify work in schools – though it does note his education experience – but Spring’s LinkedIn profile identifies him as an “organization development education consultant” who is “currently working with organizations and school districts.”
Spring did not respond to questions about the new business on Monday.
Janet Graham, the records access officer at the New York State Teachers Retirement System, on Monday said Spring had not yet retired as an educator in the state pension system.