Newburgh seeks to remove newly appointed board president
The Newburgh Board of Education president has found his volunteer job on the chopping block after his seemingly unpopular positions and remarks among district administration regarding issues impacting district teachers, children, and employees.
The district and board are petitioning the state Department of Education to remove Darren Stridiron from his newly appointed role as board president and from his seat as board member – which he has maintained since 2014.
The complaint accuses Stridiron, who was appointed president by a new board in July, of engaging in four counts of willful neglect of duty last month after he referred to a district educator as a possible “whistleblower” ahead of voting against suspending the teacher in a 7-1 vote.
“They are looking at anything possible that they disagreed with me on to bring up charges,” says Stridiron. “This is a disagreement about the way things should be done.”
Stridiron is accused of publicly disclosing information discussed in executive session, “possibly” defaming school superintendent Dr. Jackielyn Manning-Campbell, accusing two board members of changing their positions after being “wined and dined” by the district and undermining the professional status of Manning-Campbell by allegedly moving her seat away from his at the board table.
“There was constant talking by the superintendent at the first board meeting,” says Stridiron. “She was trying to distract me from running the meeting. I could have been unprofessional and called her out at the meeting, and had her removed, but I did not. I talked to her afterward, told her it was unprofessional and moved her seat."
Stridiron has spoken out for years, against popular board opinion, on several high-profile issues involving the district. Some have pertained to his own children, including a high school grading and attendance scandal in 2019. He was outspoken against a six-figure “golden parachute“ exit deal in 2022 for their former district superintendent, Roberto Padilla, after Padilla was accused of sexual harassment.
Padilla’s controversial paid leave of absence agreement was drafted by school district attorney David Shaw, the same attorney who has now filed to remove Stridiron on behalf of the district.
News 12 reached out to the Newburgh Enlarged City School District and Shaw for comment but were referred to the public complaint against Stridiron that is posted on the district board of education website.
“The truth will come out,” Stidiron says. “I’m all about transparency. I don’t want anything to be hidden and I want everything to be uncovered. The public has the right to know who’s making these calls.”
Stridiron says he has to pay out of pocket to hire an attorney should he wish to contest the petition and file an appeal.
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