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Decision No. 18,400

Appeal of JUSTIN MATTERA, from action of Suzanne Mensch, as president of the Board of Education of the Westhampton Beach Union Free School District; Carolyn Probst, as superintendent; Christopher Herr, as high school principal; Charisse Miller, as middle school principal; Mary Ann Ambrosini, as the director of pupil personnel; and Robert Finn, as the director of guidance and data management, regarding educational practices.

Decision No. 18,400

(April 24, 2024)

Killoran Law, P.C., attorneys for petitioner, Christian Killoran, Esq., of counsel

Volz & Vigliotta, PLLC, attorneys for respondent, Joshua S. Shteierman, Esq. and Sarah A. Gyimah, Esq., of counsel

ROSA., Commissioner.--Petitioner appeals alleged actions of the president of the Board of Education of the Westhampton Beach Union Free School District and other district employees (“respondents”) regarding various educational practices.  The appeal must be dismissed for improper service.

Section 275.8 (a) of the Commissioner’s regulations requires that the petition be personally served upon each named respondent.  If a school district is named as a respondent, service upon the school district shall be made personally by delivering a copy of the petition to the district clerk, to any trustee or any member of the board of education, to the superintendent of schools, or to a person in the office of the superintendent who has been designated by the board of education to accept service (8 NYCRR 275.8 [a]; Appeal of B.H., 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,246; Appeal of Peterson, 48 id. 530, Decision No. 15,939).

Here, petitioner only served the petition upon the district clerk, but not the individual respondents.  While a district clerk may accept service on behalf of a board of education, the board was not named as a respondent.  Accordingly, the appeal must be dismissed (Appeal of Kaufmann, et al., 57 Ed Dept Rep, Decision No. 17,250; Appeal of Budich and MacDonald, 54 id., Decision No. 16,774).

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