Kathleen A. Cummings, who was granted tenure as principal by the Niagara-Wheatfield School Board Wednesday, has agreed to resign from the school district at the end of the 1997-98 school year.
In the agreement that gave her tenure, which was made public Thursday, Mrs. Cummings "irrevocably" submitted her letter of resignation from the position of principal at Colonial Village Elementary School effective Wednesday and from her employment with the district effective next June 30 "to pursue other opportunities."
In exchange, Mrs. Cummings was granted tenure as an elementary school principal by a resolution the board passed unanimously Wednesday following a lengthy closed-door meeting.
During the coming school year, Mrs. Cummings would coordinate a number of other school duties, according to the agreement.
At Wednesday's meeting, board members did not discuss the matter and acting School Superintendent Peter T. Kachris said the agreement document would be released Thursday. Board President Timothy Tomsen, who signed the agreement, referred all questions to Kachris. Kachris told The Buffalo News Thursday that the agreement "resolves in a fair and responsible way" the problem of "one elementary building principal more than the district needs at this point in time. This is the logical conclusion to the agreement that was made by Mrs. (Carol) Beebe when she stepped down from the superintendency," Kachris explained.
Mrs. Cummings was assistant principal at Colonial Village for about two years before being promoted to principal in 1994 to replace Carol Beebe who was hired as school superintendent. As principal, Mrs. Cumming's salary is $57,690, according to Kerin Dumphrey, district business executive. When Mrs. Beebe left the superintendent's post in 1996, part of the agreement with the board was that she would be reassigned as principal to an elementary school. Kachris notified Mrs. Beebe this month that she would return as principal to Colonial Village. According to her agreement, Mrs. Cummings assignment in 1997-98 will be to coordinate the language arts program at Edward Town Middle School; coordinate the School to Work initiative with faculty members and outside agencies and organizations; assist in the evaluation of all non-tenured faculty; serve as chairwoman of the child study team as well as other committees; serve as first level hearing officer for all discipline cases that require intervention; and complete other duties required by the superintendent.
As part of the pact, the parties agreed not to initiate any legal action. Also, Mrs. Cummings is to receive full pay and benefits but would be removed from membership in any bargaining unit.