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Nyack HS Principal Joe Spero Resigns

Spero to be replaced by Nyack Middle School principal Nicole Saieva

While Nyack Schools' may have been the initial highlight of Tuesday evening's board meeting, it was a personnel issue that roused the audience—the resignation of principal Joe Spero.

The resignation is effective June 30; Spero is set to be replaced by current principal Nicole Saieva on July 1.

Board members could not comment on details of the change, much to the chagrin of about three-dozen residents in attendance.

"We are not allowed to discuss personnel issues," said school board president Claudette Jimmerson.

"This is a difficult part of the job," added board member Michael Mark. "There are things you wish you could [speak about]."

Several parents voiced concern about the resignation.

"I don't know where we went wrong—how we can let a man who has given as much as Joe Spero has leave here?" said Dan Gottfried, a 35-year Nyack resident whose youngest son is currently a senior at the high school. "I'm in shock."

"I think that it's a real loss to our district," echoed Emily Feiner, another Nyacker and high school parent.

Gottfried and half-a-dozen others took turns walking to the microphone and urging the board not to accept Spero's resignation. Later in the evening, the board accepted the resignation unanimously.

Spero was instrumental in pushing for at the high school, a policy that would extend class time and mean fewer courses each day; the policy is expected to be voted on by the school board this month.

"I want to wish Joe Spero the very best in his endeavors," said James Montesano, Nyack Schools' superintendent.

School board member Leanne Irvin said while she could not comment publicly on the details, she carefully read emails sent by the community in support of Spero.

"Your voice has been heard; your comments have been noted," she said.

Rudy Arietta, the high school's assistant principal, has also resigned.

Montesano suggested the school board begin searching for a new Middle School principal and assistant principal for the high school.

In March, long-time school board member Michael Lagana announced he will not be running for re-election this cycle.

Tuesday night's school board meeting also workshopped the proposed 2012-2013 budget, which aims to stay under the state's tax cap and .

Richard Kavesh April 03, 2012 at 11:16 PM
So now that we know the who, what, when, and where, can someone please explain the why? I thought Joe was doing a great job.
Elaine Duddy April 04, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Glad the middle school will be getting a new principal. Maybe the staff can stop walking on cracked eggs now!
Mike April 04, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Ms Irvine must think we live in a socialist regime, "Your voice has been heard; your comments have been noted," she said. But vote unanimously to accept his resignation. I never understood this hiding behind a personnel issue when it comes to tax funded salaries of public employees. It's nonsense
Steve Knowlton April 04, 2012 at 09:28 AM
What a loss for our HS students. Mr. Spero is loved by the students and has done a fabulous job during his all too short time at the HS. Mr. Arietta was a personality and a force to be reckoned with, but always with the best interests of the students at heart. Curious that both would resign simultaneously. Despite the Board's excuse, in light of the support that these gentlemen have in the HS and from the parents, it would go a long way toward transparency of process if an honest explanation as to their departures were forthcoming.
Michael Zaretsky April 04, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Reading between the lines, I think the board is saying they have an obligation to respect Mr. Spero's privacy!! Mr. Spero is a good man who cared about our children and worked for their best interests. However, times change and Ms. Saiva is also a respected and effective school administrator. I have always respected her hands on approach at the middle school and It will have a positive impact at the High School!!
Pat April 04, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Just because you work in a publicly funded job doesn't mean you give up all your rights to privacy.
Pat April 04, 2012 at 02:02 PM
That would be up to the former employees, not the school district. So ask.
Mike April 04, 2012 at 02:12 PM
No one said that. But your salary and performance and termination reason should be public.
Debbi C. April 04, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Has anyone stopped to think that Mr. Spero is leaving for personal reasons? Unless you know something that I don't, it could be a possibility. I love how certain members of our community are so quick to place blame on our school board for anything and everything. And Mike It's Leeann Irvin not Irvine and I think our School Board has to walk a fine line between what is acceptable to talk about and what is not in a public forum. Her response was appropriate and fair in my view. Lighten up Nyack
Jerry April 04, 2012 at 04:31 PM
I voted for everyone of the current board members, and believed thay brought in the right Superintendent to guide Nyack though what I hope is at least the next 5 years. But this move I find stupefying? I'm told that Spero and Arietta where not offered tenure. Whether or not you believe in the concept of tenure is irrelevant, but if you are going to have a tenure policy, I cannot understand why these 2 upstanding individuals would not be offered it. My personal dealings with them have been great. I am pleased with the high school education my kids have received, and my kids really liked both of them.. SMH....shaking my head.. Good luck to both. Many in the community (students and parents) will miss you.
Mareena April 04, 2012 at 09:03 PM
I, as a student, am extatic that Ms.Sieva is coming to the high school. I know that Mr.Spero was great, but he never got the chance to connect with us students. We all said,"he never comes out of his office, and we barely even see him". We also are very upset however that Mr.Arietta is leaving. We got the chance to know him, and he us. Block scheduling woukd also be great for us students, allowing us more class time, and less time to lose focus, even more homework time. I hope it is taken into serious consideration.
Stacy Gutner April 05, 2012 at 01:03 PM
How does block scheduling give you more homework time? It is for class time. Education is changing everywhere..............watch out is all I can say!
Anonymous April 05, 2012 at 04:12 PM
So true. Unfortunately, Ms. Saieva felt it necessary to take others down for her own advancement. I don't know how she sleeps at night.
Matthew Ciuccio April 05, 2012 at 04:30 PM
In the spirit of education it would be great to learn the real reason behind these actions. So they can be avoided from happening again. NHS Philosophy and Goals "Nyack High School is a community, proud of its traditions and rich diversity. We strive to meet the needs of all students and to prepare them for a rapidly changing world. In a spirit of collaboration, we seek to provide an environment that fosters scholastic excellence, cultural appreciation, ethical behavior and democratic values. We value individuality and the effort to realize full potential. We encourage harmonious partnerships among students, staff, parents and wider community. "
Elaine Duddy April 07, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Dear Anonymous.....She better watch out or a house may fall on her or someone might through water on her and she will melt. What a world......what a world. Hope what goes around comes around as they say Karma and all that stuff.
Elaine Duddy April 07, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Sorry .............I meant throw not through. I am through though. LOL
Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 03:36 AM
What goes around does come around. I've witnessed Ms. Saieva's incredibly unprofessional behavior. It will catch up with her. I pray for her. She must be a miserable and lonely woman.
Elaine Duddy April 19, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Some bad personal choices made by one and other people have to be the fall guy for their anger. More compassion should be the result of such experiences and not maltreatment of others. I was one of the fall guys. :-(
Elaine Duddy April 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Anonymos.......I am a recipient of her rath and it ain't pretty. She can cut you to a quick and spit you out in an instant. Yes ...........I was a fall guy. I could never do anything like that to another human being. What a mean streak. Why take personal problems out on other people. It would be better to be more compasionate. I just don't want anyone else to get hurt like I did!

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