Several weeks ago the Marlboro school board hired Jena Thomas as the Principal of the Elementary School. The board approved a 3-year contract for Thomas while Patricia Walsh still holds the position of Principal.
Last week when the Southern Ulster Times questioned the school board if Thomas’ salary was budgeted for the 2022-23 school year, they did not respond, however Superintendent Michael Rydell sent a text message to the reporter the next day to clarify the matter.
“The answer to your question is no, the cost of the additional position is not in the 2022-2023 budget. The expense is a result of an individual being placed on paid administrative leave. Said action took place after the development and approval of the 2022-2023 budget,” he wrote.
The person Rydell referenced is Principal Walsh, who was placed on paid Administrative Leave at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Board President Michael Connors has confirmed that the district’s legal counsel is reviewing the matter, which may take until March of 2023 to resolve. Walsh is still being paid her $134,300 salary and to date, no charges from the district have been brought against her.
Rydell pointed out how Jena Thomas is being paid.
“The compensation for all building administrators comes from the building supervision line. This would include Jena Thomas and you are correct with the salary of $130,000 plus benefits,” he wrote. “As with any line or lines in a budget, if, as the year progresses there is a need to increase or decrease the available funds in those areas, decisions on the transfer of funds enter into the equation.”