CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – News of Superintendent Paul Kreutzer’s Tuesday resignation came as no shock to several Katonah-Lewisboro parents.
Nat Mundy, owner of Caps Country Market on Spring Street, said he thought Kreutzer would finish out the year, but didn’t expect him to stay long term.
“I always sort of felt like he was brought in to serve a purpose: find budget cuts, find ways to save the system money,” he said. “He did his job and he probably has another job offer somewhere else.”
Kreutzer's departure comes less than a week after the board voted 5-2 to close the Lewisboro Elementary School in the fall, which is expected to save about $1.7 million annually. The 300-plus Lewisboro Elementary students will move to Increase Miller and Meadow Pond elementary schools, including Mundy’s fourth grade son, Hunter.
“He’ll change schools. Some friendships will be more distant than they were before. The hard part is he’s only been there three years and was just settling in,” Mundy said. “He was finding his clique of buddies and comfortable socially, and now that all changes.”
The Katonah-Lewisboro School Board announced the resignation at a special meeting Tuesday night. Kreutzer, 42, will receive a $90,000 buyout of the existing portion of his five-year contract in order to avoid litigation, the school district said in a message on its website.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Michael Jumper will serve as acting superintendent, as he did prior to Kreutzer's hiring in 2011.
In his previous post as school superintendent in New Berlin, Wisc., Kreutzer endorsed Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s bid to limit collective bargaining rights for teachers. Consequently, the Katonah-Lewisboro District Teachers Association did not receive him well when he was hired.
“The KLDTA will not be commenting on the resignation of Dr. Kreutzer,” Sandy Grebinar, president of the KLDTA said. “The KLDTA looks forward to working with the board and Acting Superintendent Jumper in our shared commitment to provide our students with an excellent education.”
Lewisboro Elementary parent Larry Martin said the school board should reconsider closing the school given Kreutzer's resignation.
“As a parent I am greatly concerned about how this [Board of Education] will execute a closure transition plan in a short time frame, under the pressure of Common Core implementation and carry out a superintendent search simultaneously," he said.