Skip to main content

Decision No. 16,012

Appeal of EVELYN FISKE from action of the Board of Education of the Massena Central School District, Roger Clough, Interim Superintendent of Schools, and Shannon Jordan regarding an involuntary temporary reassignment.

Decision No. 16,012

(January 29, 2010)

School Administrators Association of New York State, Office of General Counsel, attorneys for petitioner, A. Andrew Dalbec, Esq., of counsel

The Law Firm of Frank W. Miller, attorneys for respondents,  Michael J. Livolsi, Esq., of counsel

STEINER, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the determination of the Board of Education of the Massena Central School District (“respondent board” or “board”) and interim superintendent Roger Clough (“interim superintendent”) to temporarily reassign her from her position as elementary school principal and to appoint Shannon Jordan as interim principal.  The appeal must be dismissed.

Petitioner is a tenured administrator in the district.  On January 30, 2009, petitioner was served with a 20-page counseling memorandum reassigning her to the Central Administration Building to work under the supervision of the interim superintendent on specific tasks and to work on an improvement plan through June 30, 2009.  This appeal ensued.

Petitioner alleges that her reassignment to the Central Administration Building was an improper disciplinary measure, in violation of Education Law §3020.    Petitioner also contends that the interim superintendent exceeded his authority in reassigning her without the approval of the board.  Petitioner requests that she be reinstated to her prior position as elementary school principal.  Respondents maintain that the purpose of petitioner’s temporary reassignment was not disciplinary but to improve the administration of the elementary school building.

The Commissioner will only decide matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Tine, 46 Ed Dept Rep 579, Decision No. 15,600; Appeal of N.C., 46 id. 358, Decision No. 15,532; Appeal of Lombardo, 46 id. 282, Decision No. 15,508).  Effective August 1, 2009, petitioner was reinstated to her position as elementary school principal.  Since this is the only relief petitioner requested, the appeal must be dismissed as moot.

In light of the foregoing disposition, I need not address the parties’ remaining contentions.