In Walton, School Starts Amid Administrative Changes
The first week of the new school year is wrapping up.
In Walton, students returned to a district that’s lost a superintendent and three other administrators in the last month.
Cars lined the street outside Townsend Elementary School as parents waited for school to let out.
The district’s had some losses in the last month. On August 21, Superintendent Roger Clough was suspended. Since then, three other administrators have submitted their resignations.
Those are not related to Clough's departure, according to school board President Ronda Williams.
"We have no reason to believe that," she said via email. "Indeed, we have been told by each that they have resigned to take a position that was better for their career or better for their families."
Most parents we asked didn’t want to talk about the issue. Either they were in a hurry to get their kids or they said they didn’t know enough to comment. One said the only information they had was what they saw on Facebook.
Chris Finn did talk while waiting to pick up one of her grandkids. She was upset with how much acting superintendent Larry Thomas is being paid.
“They’re paying $650 a day," Finn said. "I think that’s ridiculous."
Board President Williams said Thomas is working to find replacement administrators. She also said the board is barred from commenting on why Superintendent Clough was suspended.
"Mr. Clough is free to determine what and how much of his personal information he would like to share with the media," she said. "Unfortunately, the BOE is legally prohibited from sharing Personnel Matters with the public nor are we in a position to respond to rumors, even if we could separate fact from fiction."
Calls to Clough's lawyer have not been returned.
This isn’t the first time Clough has been accused of wrongdoing. In 2012, 400 people signed a petition to have him removed as Massena Superintendent. That’s according the Daily Courier-Observer Newspaper in the North Country.
Around the same time, North Country Now reported he faced allegations of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and a hostile work environment from an Assistant Superintendent.
Clough left that district after saying he didn’t want his contract renewed.