Former Amityville superintendent leaves district with $230G settlement
The Amityville Board of Education agreed to pay former Superintendent Mary Kelly a $114,000 lump sum and contribute to her retirement account as part of a settlement agreement that called for Kelly to resign, according to documents obtained by Newsday.
Kelly agreed to a total settlement of $230,000 in May to resign from the district after serving as superintendent for seven years, according to documents obtained by Newsday under a Freedom of Information Law request. She since has been hired by the Bridgehampton School District at an annual salary of more than $200,000. Kelly declined to comment last week.
It's unclear whether Kelly's resignation was connected to the fallout in the Amityville district over a teacher accused of making a racially insensitive comment at a football game in April.
Kelly’s contract was set to expire in 2023, according to a document obtained by Newsday. The document, dated May 18 and signed by Kelly and school board president Terry Fulton, said the board had made allegations against her, and that she had denied them, but those claims were redacted in the document.
"The parties agree that their action entering into this agreement are the result of a compromise between the parties, and they shall not be deemed an admission of wrongdoing on the part of either party," the settlement read.
The agreement noted that Kelly’s employment with the district ended on May 31, and that she waived her rights to any payout of unused sick or vacation time. The agreement calls for the district to pay $58,000 this year and $58,000 next year into her retirement account.
The school board unanimously accepted Kelly’s resignation at its meeting May 18, according to district documents posted online. Fulton did not return a call for comment. The settlement states Kelly will not take legal action against the district and that details of the agreement remain confidential unless disclosed by a legal proceeding or a Freedom of Information Law request.
The board appointed Edward Fale as interim superintendent, effective June 1. He is a veteran administrator whose experience includes serving as assistant principal at Amityville Memorial High School in the 1980s, as well as 20 years as a superintendent in the Valley Stream 24 district. A search for a new superintendent is underway. Fale said in a written statement that "the district cannot comment on confidential personnel information."
Records show the school board had extended Kelly's contract in 2018 at an annual base salary of $230,000. Amityville enrolls about 3,000 students. The Empire Center for Public Policy, a nonpartisan think tank based in Albany, reported her 2020 salary as $235,689.
Kelly's contract with the Bridgehampton district, which has about 210 students, was signed May 26 and runs through June 2024. Her base salary is $215,000.
Upon leaving Amityville, Kelly said in a written statement: "My 13 years in Amityville, including the seven-and-a-half years as superintendent, have been personally and professionally rewarding. I will always remember my time here with a great deal of fondness for the students and the community."
On May 12, the school board suspended a Memorial High School teacher accused of making a racially insensitive comment about Black players during a livestream of the school's football game on April 24.
The suspension of the teacher, who is white and was not identified, is pending a hearing by a state arbitrator. If the accusation is proved true or the teacher declines to go through the hearing process, the board will seek his termination, officials have said.
Several parents criticized Kelly for waiting nine days to inform the public about the incident.