April 12, 2018
The Brewster Central School District is fortunate to have a highly qualified and inspiring leader in Superintendent Dr. Valerie Henning-Piedmonte. Dr. Henning-Piedmonte has overseen the completion of a $38.9 million capital project, implemented 21st Century learning, adopted the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop at K-5, promoted STEM education and the social and emotional wellness of students, and shepherded the district through implementation of a strategic coherence plan.
The Brewster Board of Education would like to clarify any confusion regarding the reasons for allowing the Superintendent to cash in an additional five days of unused vacation.
Like many school districts, the Brewster Central School District allows the superintendent to receive payment for vacation days she is unable to use. In July, Superintendent Henning-Piedmonte sought the board’s approval to be compensated for five vacation days she could not use due to the need for her to be on-site to oversee the final phase of the district’s capital improvement project during the summer.
While it was the intention of the board to formally approve the unused vacation days at the July 11, 2017 meeting, the supporting documentation was inadvertently omitted from the information accessible to the public. After learning of the inadvertent omission, the board voted on and passed a clarifying resolution on April 10, 2018 approving an increase in the number of unused vacation days.
Many school districts offer this benefit to superintendents whose duties sometimes preclude taking vacation time. Brewster Central School District has done so in the past, and stands by its decision to offer this benefit to Dr. Henning-Piedmonte.
In addition, Mr. Victor Karlsson, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, performs his duties with professionalism and the highest degree of integrity. Suggestions in the article to the contrary are entirely false and without merit. He has spent countless hours overseeing the logistics of the $38.9 million dollar construction bond, managing complex financial matters related to the bond and preparing and implementing the last two budgets.
Dr. Valerie Henning-Piedmonte, Mr. Victor Karlsson, Ms. Michelle Gosh and Ms. Kathleen Culligan have decided to freeze their salary for the 2018-19 school year, reduce the vacation buy back to 10 days and contribute an additional 3% to their health insurance so that these funds can be used in an effort to restore a position that was eliminated from the budget.