Peekskill superintendent's resignation upsets parents

Parents in Peekskill are upset over the resignation of school Superintendent Dr. David Fine.

Dozens of concerned citizens turned out Tuesday evening to a school board meeting and demanded that the board rescind Fine's resignation

Dr. Fine, who oversaw almost 3,000 students district-wide as superintendent for the last nine years, submitted his letter of resignation last week.

School board members say the letter was submitted voluntarily on the district's website and said in part, "I must reassess my priorities and make a change so I can provide some needed focus on my personal life and family." No other details were given and the resignation is immediate. "We didn't foresee and he didn't foresee what his needs would be at that time, so we respected that and we're moving forward," says School Board President Lisa Aspinall-Kellawon.

And while school officials explained to parents at last night's board meeting that they can't stop or force a person from taking a step back and tending to personal affairs, parents say the school board should have tried harder to keep Dr. Fine. "I just feel it came out of nowhere and I feel our board should have questioned and fought a little harder," says parent Lauren Brady.

The board appointed Dr. Lorenzo Licopoli to fill Fine's position until a permanent replacement is found. Dr. Licopoli, who has served as interim superintendent in the past, says he was caught off guard by the resignation as well. "Dr. Fine has been a presence in the community. It was as big a shock to me as it was the parents."

Board members say an extensive search for a permanent superintendent will be launched, and they will be asking for the public's input.

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