Kreutzer Is Out As Katonah-Lewisboro Superintendent

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Paul Kreutzer was hired as Katonah-Lewisboro superintendent of schools amid controversy over his stance supporting efforts to limit collective bargaining rights for teachers.
Paul Kreutzer was hired as Katonah-Lewisboro superintendent of schools amid controversy over his stance supporting efforts to limit collective bargaining rights for teachers. Photo Credit: Daily Voice file photo

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. -- The Katonah-Lewisboro School District has parted ways with Superintendent Paul Kreutzer, effective immediately.

In an announcement on its website, the district said Assistant Superintendent Michael Jumper, who had served as interim superintendent prior to Kreutzer's hiring in 2011, will again serve as acting superintendent.

“The Board of Education and superintendent have irreconcilable differences with regard to the vision for and day-to-day leadership of the school district,” Katonah-Lewisboro Board of Education President Charles Day said. “We thank Paul for his contributions over the past two-and-a-half years, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

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.

Kreutzer's departure comes less than a week after the board voted 5-2 to close the Lewisboro Elementary School.

Kreutzer was hired in Katonah-Lewisboro amid controversy 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.

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Paul is a good man. He deserved better.

The current superintendent of the BCSD is not good for Pound Ridge parents and taxpayers. He can't hide his disdain for this town. We exist for tax $, nothing more. We have the weakest testers bussed into PRES and "mainstreamed" here. This lowers our elementary school's test scores, while at the same time we have parents of some of our best test takers having their kids 'opt-out' of the state tests. This also lowers our scores. PRES used to be the #5 ranked elementary school in NY State. It currently sits at #561. How's that taste? How do your home values look now?

Ask Dr. Hochman about our test scores and he'll tell you not to worry about them. It's his canned response --and everyone has had enough.

The current BOE is also not good for Pound Ridge. Not a single member of our town sits on the district's school board. This ought to be illegal. Most of them love Jere Hochman. Not good. They need to understand how many people want a new superintendent. Me thinks if there was an election tomorrow and we could somehow vote for a new superintendent, Jere would be voted OFF the island.

Many Pound Ridgers wish they were part of the K-L school district (outside of the few in the northern part of our town who actually are). It may come to that. Our town should look into redistricting or outright secession from the BCSD. The groundswell of discontent is already here.

It's good to know that the test scores drive property values and that's your primary focus. It's the problem with education that the focus is no longer the education of students but rather how that impacts home values, neighborhood exclusivity (as you indicate that the "weakest testers" are bussed in) and tax bases. My thinking is that education should serve all students, whether or not they are good test takers and test-taking should not be the skill that is measured to determine if students are educated. Narrowly defining education in this fashion is what got you into this mess in the first place.

The schools do serve all the students, Sami. Yet we do need to rank them somehow. What do you propose?
I think that there should be testing, but not every year. The new obsession with many educators is to tell us that the tests don't matter. They do. We should all have some minimum standards.
Property values are very important when you live in the highest taxed county (and state) in the entire country. We are pushing our retirees and seniors out of this area. That's not what I signed up for. I want to stay here for the long haul, but the math isn't going to work. The unions and politicians have destroyed this state.

The bottom line is that they had to know this was coming when they held the vote to close LES, but they chose to keep this information from us. I, for one, don't like it when elected officials keep information from the people who elected them, when they know it impacts the validity of what they are telling us. I have no confidence in the current BOE for this district, nor do I trust them to be straight with us regarding these types of critical decisions.

That is too bad for the district, it seemed to be on the right track. It would be nice if Hochman resigned his post at BCSD - today. Rankings across all the schools stink, and he crosses the line with his personal political positions all the time. Take a gander at his tweets and the guest speakers he allows on campus in last 10-12 months. Lot of conflicts here.