Former SWR school admin could earn $8,500 to train replacement

SAMANTHA BRIX FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River school board members and the superintendent (center) at a recent meeting.

The Shoreham-Wading River school board was set to vote tonight on a measure that would allow former assistant superintendent for human resources Lou Curra to provide mentoring services to William Bushman, who was recently appointed to fill that role, at cost of $8,500 to the district.

A similar resolution was approved by the school board at a June 30 meeting, allowing new superintendent Steven Cohen to begin work early on a per diem basis for $8,750. The measure was approved by a vote of 4-1, with president Bill McGrath, a trustee at the time, casting the lone “no” vote. Board members Leo Greeley and Mike Fucito, who is now vice president, were absent from the meeting.

But Mr. McGrath said Tuesday afternoon that he is in favor of tonight’s resolution, which pays Mr. Curra $8,500 for a time period not to exceed 10 days, despite its similarities to the one he opposed earlier this summer.

“There might be some aspects of human resources that require some mentoring,” he said.

He was opposed to the measure involving Dr. Cohen because he wasn’t sure the district was getting the best value for its dollar. On some of the days Dr. Cohen was paid to start early, certain administrators, including former superintendent Harriet Copel, would not be working.

He also added that the entire board was not aware of the resolution involving Dr. Cohen and said that this time each board member knows of the upcoming measure.

Mr. McGrath said he knows tonight’s resolution is a sensitive one. At the June 30 board meeting, a handful of residents spoke at the podium, berating the board for fiscal irresponsibility in approving the measure related to Dr. Cohen’s early employment.

“Everybody’s upset when they see money involved,” he said. “But this is part of the process.”

Tonight’s board meeting will be held at 8 p.m. in the high school library.

Click for tonight’s agenda.