The Suffern Central School District’s statement made at the special board meeting on 3-11-2019:
Some of the members of the Board have expressed personal opinions regarding the events surrounding the suspension of Superintendent of Schools Dr. Douglas Adams. Now, at the direction of the Board, I make the following statement on behalf of the Board:
It is essential to the mission of the District to assure the safety and well-being of our students. The Board of Education relies upon the District’s Chief Executive Officer, the Superintendent of Schools, to review all situations in which students are exposed to inappropriate conduct that may affect their educational experience, whether in academics, athletic or extra-curricular settings.
Over the past several weeks, the Board sought to meet with Superintendent Adams to address these matters. He was unavailable to be present for executive sessions to be given the opportunity to explain why the Board had been kept in the dark and why personnel matters were not addressed in light of the gravity of the situations. His suspension upon certain charges issued to him were not in response to his two appeals to the Commissioner, but rather address those matters that the Board sought to meet with him about weeks ago.
During this school year, we have repeatedly asked for information necessary for Board members to carry out their fiduciary duties as trustees in area of finance and we did not receive the information that we requested that was necessary for informed consideration and action.
The Suffern Central School District needs a cohesive governance team in place in the interest of all students, taxpayers and the school community. We ask that Acting Superintendent Dr. Lisa Castaldo be given everyone’s full cooperation in her effort to serve the District.
Statement provided by Dr. Douglas Adams’ Attorney Richard Ellsworth:
Dr. Adams has missed two meetings since beginning his tenure in 2011. The first time was on February 11 of this year when he was suffering from pneumonia. The Board knew he would not attend that meeting in advance. He also missed a special meeting on Monday February 25th of this year. The special meeting was scheduled by Dr. Dghiem late Friday afternoon (2/22) despite her knowledge that Superintendent Adams would be out of town on the day of the special meeting.