Cazenovia High School teacher whose job was saved by BOE resigns

Mary Kate Lonergan to teach at FM for better sense of job security

— Cazenovia District Superintendent Bob Dubik confirmed that he received Lonergan’s resignation last week, asking to be made effective June 30. It was presented to the school board for consideration at its May 21 meeting.

“We hated to see her leave; she’s a good and valued teacher. We hate to see anybody leave. But she knows the situation that we face in the future with declining enrollment,” Dubik said. “Our loss is certainly FM’s gain, and we wish her well.”

Cazenovia’s declining enrollment, as well as increased retirement and health care costs and large reductions in state and federal aid was the reason for this year’s announced staffing cuts. The other four positions eliminated by the 2013-14 budget were all through attrition.

Social Studies Department Chair Kurt Wheeler, who spoke out and fought hard for the board to retain Lonergan’s position, said, “Ms. Lonergan has been a superb teacher and a valued colleague in the Social Studies Department. We are very sad to see her go but completely understand and support her decision given the precarious nature of her position due to our financial and demographic situation. We wish her all the best at FM.”

School Board President Fritz Koennecke, who is retiring from the board this year, said the budget is done and cannot be changed now. The question for the incoming board after the May 21 budget vote and BOE election is whether or not to hire a replacement with the allocated funding, he said.

Dubik said there has been no discussion yet on whether or not the social studies position will be filled. While the district administration recommends whether or not to fill the position, it is ultimately the school board’s decision. If it is decided not to hire a replacement for Lonergan, the money goes back into the district’s general fund.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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