Skip to main content

Search Google Appliance

Search Google Appliance

Decision No. 16,810

Appeal of KATHARINE WAITE, from action of the Board of Education of the Perry Central School District, Superintendent of Schools William Stavisky, Rebecca R. Belekota, and Steve Haynes regarding her seniority rights.

Decision No. 16,810

(August 5, 2015)

School Administrators Association of NYS, attorneys for petitioner, A. Andre Dalbec, Esq., of counsel

Harris Beach, PLLC, attorneys for respondents, Laura M. Purcell, Esq., of counsel

ELIA, Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals the decision of the Board of Education of the Perry Central School District (“respondent board”) and Superintendent William Stavisky not to appoint Rebecca R. Belkota (collectively “respondents”) to the secondary principal position.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner’s prior appeal regarding her seniority rights was dismissed on August 3, 2015 (Appeal of Waite, 55 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 16,801).  The facts set forth in that decision are incorporated herein by reference, and will not be repeated here at length.  Following the filing of petitioner’s first appeal, respondent Belkota was appointed to the position of secondary principal on May 27, 2014.  This appeal ensued.

In her previous appeal, as in this one, petitioner alleged that she was entitled to the position of secondary principle because the position is substantially similar to her abolished position of middle school principal and in the same general tenure area of “principal.”  Additionally, plaintiff contends that she is being terminated without due process in violation of Education Law §§ 3012, 3020, and 3020-a.

Respondents contend that petitioner has failed to show that the district has a general tenure area of principal and that she is the senior administrator in that tenure area. Further, respondents contend that petitioner has failed to show that the district acted in bad faith by abolishing the position of middle school principal and thus her due process claim must fail.  Finally, respondents argue that the appeal is untimely.  For all of the above reasons, respondents argue that the appeal must be dismissed.

The Commissioner of Education will not render a decision on an issue which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Watkins, 31 Ed Dept Rep 548, Decision 12,732; Appeal of Krause, 27 id. 57, Decision No. 11,870; Matter of Kruta, 20 id. 363, Decision No. 10,442).  In light of the fact that I have already decided the issue presented in this appeal, namely that respondent board has clearly established a system of narrow tenure areas for the administration and thus petitioner is not entitled to the secondary principal position, the appeal is dismissed as moot.

THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED.

END OF FILE