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B'ville: Parents protest principal swap

Despite pleas from hundreds of parents, teachers and students, the Baldwinsville Board of Education approved a shuffle of school administrators Monday night.

About two weeks ago, rumors began to circulate regarding the transfer of several tenured district principals, a decision that parents and teachers say the superintendent made without communicating with school communities. The proposed transfers included moving Baker High School Principal Olivia Cambs to Reynolds Elementary School; moving Reynolds Principal Steve Frey to Palmer Elementary; and moving McNamara Principal Mary Schiltz to Van Buren Elementary. The current Van Buren Principal Michael Denny plans to retire at the end of the school year and Palmer Elementary Principal James Austin will be leaving the district. Appointments of principals for Baker and McNamara are yet unknown.

Rebecca Croucher, secretary of the Reynolds PTA, said she first heard about the changes at Reeve's Field during her child's little league game. "We felt left in the dark," she said.

As the rumors spread, parents at Reynolds began to protest the proposal. On June 10, Dangle met with the Reynolds PTA executive board to discuss the changes, after which the PTA released a letter to parents that suggested accepting the changes and focusing on end of the year activities.

"Ms. Dangle informed us that her decision to transfer Mr. Frey is final and will not be reversed," a letter from Reynolds PTA presidents Heather Speech and Janet Bednarz read. "It saddens us all that Mr. Frey will be leaving Reynolds and he will be missed immensely. But at this time we believe it is in our best interest to move on."

While BOE President Kevin Bernstein said the board was forbidden by law to discuss the why of personnel matters, many still sought reasons during the meeting. Richard Mann was one of 18 individuals who spoke at the board meeting and who echoed the sentiments of many in the room.

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