J-E school board drops interim superintendent, director of operations

The Jordan-Elbridge school board tonight fired interim Superintendent Larry Zacher, hired in November, and appointed Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES Superintendent Bill Speck to fill in until the new superintendent steps in.

Paula VanMinos, the district's director of operations, was suspended for 60 days, after which time she will no longer work for J-E.

Both were the subject of a Post-Standard front-page story Sunday that brought to light an unusual three-year contract negotiated between VanMinos and the district and approved by the board in February. The deal required the incoming school board to grant VanMinos tenure, or pay her a fine -- three years of salary totaling $308,000. The contract was signed by Zacher, who also recommended the board approve it.

Tonight's meeting was scheduled to discuss the Post-Standard story.

Sunday's report also said the J-E administrator had been spotted entering Zacher's Skaneateles residence at night and leaving in the morning.

Zacher's termination was effective immediately. The board chose to void VanMinos' contract because it was approved without legal counsel. Speck told the Post-Standard that VanMinos will not receive the $308,000 payment as a result.

The school board's next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the high school cafeteria.

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