DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- Students past and present, parents, locals and even a Dobbs Ferry High School teacher were at the Board of Education meeting Thursday night in support of science teacher Ann Stanton.
"I will not sit and stand idle while one of the most influential teachers is thrown in the trash," said Michael Hamborsky, a former Dobbs Ferry High School student.
Still, the Dobbs Ferry Board of Education decided against rehiring Stanton and voted unanimously on a recommended candidate to fill the position.
Stanton was a tenured teacher at the high school seven years ago, but left her position to care for her family including her five children. After a position opened up again a few years ago due to a maternity leave, Stanton was rehired on an interim basis. A full-time science teacher position opened recently and Stanton had to apply with the rest of the applicants.
"[It is the] ultimate insult of having to reapply for her own job," said Joan Halpin, a Dobbs Ferry resident whose daughter was taught by Stanton. "This is the biggest travesty that has happened in this village. You should be ashamed."
According to the board, Stanton was forced to reapply for the job because she was covering another teacher's leave thus had no legal right to the job since it was technically vacant. Over 200 people applied for the position, which was eventually narrowed down to five finalists.
"Out of 200 people, we expect that we brought the absolute best candidate," said Board of Education President Lynne Black.
The recommendations came from a board comprised of current teachers, parents, students, administrators and the new high school principal, John Falino. Board of Education Vice President Mike Goman emphasized that the board did not interview the candidates or even know much about them, they were merely there to accept or decline the recommendations.
"To speak frankly I don't know what we're really looking for in a teacher if we don't see it in Ann Stanton," said Tom Callahan, a science teacher at Dobbs Ferry High School.
Regardless of the pleas from the crowd the board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation, which did not sit well with the crowd. Many stood up and stormed out, others berated the board for their decision.
"It gets worse every year," Halpin said.
The teacher replacing Stanton is Dr. Courtney St. Prix, who was a teacher at Woodlands High School in Greenburgh. St. Prix was tenured at Woodlands and had taught there since 2002. St. Prix was also an adjunct professor at several colleges.
Regardless of St. Prix's credentials, the Dobbs Ferry residents in attendance were visibly upset by the decision. Some were in shock, while others were angered, but most were simply disappointed by the decision.
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