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Hochman Seeks Decision By April For Pound Ridge Elementary Principal

Pound Ridge Elementary School
Pound Ridge Elementary School Photo Credit: File Photo

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- Bedford Central Schools Superintendent Jere Hochman is seeking to have a new Pound Ridge Elementary School principal named by April.

The position will become vacant on July 1 due to the impending departure of Timothy Gembka, who is leaving at the end of the current school year.

Hochman, who announced Gembka’s upcoming exit in a December community email, declined to say why he is leaving when asked by Daily Voice.

Gembka did not respond to requests for comment.

Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES will serve as an outside facilitator for the principal-search process, Hochman explained, the same role it has for Bedford Central’s special-education director search.

Under the timeline, according to Hochman, applications are due by mid-February.

The superintendent also said that there will be a “different process,” and noted that there will be parent and teacher input. The roles for both groups will include serving on an interview and screening committee. Hochman explained that he would be talking with teachers to get names for people who can serve.

The announcement of Gembka’s departure comes as some Pound Ridge parents have voiced concerns about the quality of the elementary school’s academic performance. During 2014, there was also some concern voiced about the lack of Pound Ridge residents on the school board.

The decision to conduct a search was welcomed by Pound Ridge mother Pam Harney, who spoke during public forum at the school board’s Jan. 14 meeting.

“It was a long time coming,” Harney said, adding it was the “right thing to do.”

Harney, whose children go to Fox Lane Middle School and Fox Lane High School, also claimed that committees chose someone instead of Gembka for Pound Ridge Elementary principal during the last search. Hochman declined to address the specifics of Harney’s claim when asked for comment.

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