Recently a Settlement Agreement was reached between the Marlboro School District and former Elementary School Principal Patricia Walsh.
The 20-page agreement, heavily redacted, was obtained last week by the Southern Ulster Times after submitting a formal request under New York State’s Freedom of information Law (FOIL).
The district placed Walsh on administrative leave last year without a detailed explanation but it appears the agreement made last month was reached as, “the parties are desirous of resolving their differences and avoiding litigation.” The document further states that Walsh will withdraw, “every action, complaint, proceeding, charge, grievance, arbitration or any other proceeding, administrative or judicial, she has filed or has had filed on her behalf against the [school] district.” In addition, she agreed to not file any action against the district in the future, unless the district has failed to comply with any terms of the agreement.
Walsh had filed a lawsuit against the district in February of this year, citing a violation of her “constitutional and statutory due process rights relative to her status as a tenured elementary principal.” The lawsuit included Jena Thomas, who was hired as the Elementary School Principal by the school board as Walsh was placed on administrative leave.
Under the terms of this agreement, Walsh is to tender her resignation, effective December 31, 2024, for the purpose of retirement, but, “shall continue to be provided with assignments within her tenure area from the date of execution of this Agreement [8-18-23] by all parties through the effective date of her resignation.”
Walsh will be paid her regular salary of $150,850 from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024 and an additional $77,273.50 for July 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024 and will continue to receive all of her fringe benefits through her retirement date and will receive health insurance coverage in retirement.
Walsh will also be paid $40,000 on or before January 31, 2025 for all of her accumulated, unused sick days according to the collective bargaining agreement [CBA]. Total payments come to $268,123.50.
Walsh has agreed to, “relinquish all right, title and interest in any position in the district,” including to the position and title of tenured Elementary Principal. She also is not to apply or seek any vacancy and/or accept employment in the Marlboro School District.
In addition, the agreement states that Walsh and the Marlboro School District are not admitting any liability, wrongdoing or violation of any law, statute, regulation, agreement or policy in the document.
The agreement further states that Walsh and the Marlboro School District or any entity representing them are bound by confidentiality. If either side breeches this stipulation, the offending party will be subject to damages in the amount of $25,000.
Although Walsh’s name is redacted, a document in the subsequent Exhibit section of the Agreement gives a history of Walsh’s employment history with the Marlboro School District, stating the date she was hired as a teacher and her appointment as the Elementary School Principal.
Walsh began teaching in the Marlboro School district in 1997, became an Elementary School Principal in 2006 and on May 21, 2009 was awarded tenure by the school board, effective July 31, 2009. During those years, she served as principal of Middle Hope and Milton Elementary Schools, both of which have been shuttered.
Walsh was laid off in 2013 for three years during a difficult financial period for the district, accepting a position as principal of Most Precious Blood Parochial School in Walden. She was rehired by the Marlboro School District in 2016, as principal of Marlboro Elementary School.
Calls and emails to Superintendent Michael Rydell and to Patricia Walsh were not returned for comment.