Canastota: High school principal resigns

The Canastota Board of Education approved high school Principal Donna Marie Norton's agreement dated May 9, 2007 and letter of resignation effective May 31.

At the meeting held May 22, board President Carla DeShaw said Norton planned to pursue other educational interests.

She mentioned Norton's accomplishments during her three years at Canastota including instituting the school's code of conduct, the initiation of an agricultural program and providing students with Syracuse University Project Advance, a program, which partner with high schools to offer SU courses during the regularly scheduled school day.

Norton's resignation follows rumors that circulated she would not be granted tenure and would be fired at the end of the school term, subsequently prompting numerous students, faculty and parents to attend the March 27 board meeting and ask questions.

Two weeks later, Superintendent of Schools Fred Bragan addressed a "smear campaign" in the form of a letter that circulated, which he claimed attacked his character.

Norton could not be reached for comment.

The board recommended the appointment of Mary Frye as interim high school principal effective June 1 at the pro-rated salary of $82,800.

The board also accepted resignations by Jennifer Sherwood, physical education teacher; Beth Davis, school psychologist and chairperson for the committee on preschool special education and Jeremy Ridgeo, seven through 12 English teacher.

The approved tenure to the following staff:

Jennifer Amuso, Susan Cassavaw, Tom Congden, Linda Gleeson, Cheryl Moore, Patricia Ragan, Jill Stanley, Olin Stratton, Melissa Sacco, Diane Traver, Lisa Visalli and Jan White.

"Tenure is not taken lightly," Bragan said. He said tenured staff is held to a higher standard.

Future Business Leader's of American students gave a presentation to the board on the state Leadership Conference they attended and asked for approval for three students to travel to Chicago for the National Leadership Conference held June 27 to July 1. Senior Kyle Cashel qualified for the national conference and will compete in spreadsheet design.

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