By Connor Linskey
Pine Bush Central School District Superintendent of Schools Tim Mains returned to work on Wednesday following a three-month medical leave of absence.
Mains had been out since Oct. 14. On Oct. 6, he collapsed at work and was rushed to the hospital. While there it was discovered that he had passed out from atrial tachycardia, a type of abnormal heart rhythm. In addition, five significant blockages in his heart were found, two of which were rated at 95 and 99 percent.
Mains was in the hospital for two weeks where he had five stents placed in his coronary arteries. After being released from the hospital, he was not allowed to go to work or drive until the atrial tachycardia was under control. Now that he is feeling better, Mains is in high spirits.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I am thrilled to be back at work. I’ve been bugging my doctor to let me come back to work for a while and now that I’m cleared and the board has everything organized, I’m thrilled to be back.”
Donna Geidel will serve as deputy superintendent for the next week to help with Mains’ transition. She served as acting superintendent during his leave of absence. After next week, she will retire.
Now that he has returned to work, Mains is facing a huge challenge. On Tuesday, the district opened for in-person hybrid learning. For those in grades pre-K through six, it is a continuation of in-person learning from the fall after a nearly two-month pause. For students in grades seven through 12 who chose the hybrid model of learning, it is their first time returning to school buildings since March 2020 when the pandemic hit. On Friday Geidel noted that the district will take an abundance of caution to ensure that students are safe while in school buildings.
“We have all of the possible COVID precautions put into place,” she said. “Limited class size, limited bus occupancy, hand sanitizer everywhere. Students’ temperatures get taken on the way in. All students have to do a questionnaire before they get on the bus. Everybody has to wear a mask, they can’t even get on the bus without a mask. We have a supply of masks should students need them.”