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Guilderland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, January 15, 2009
Paolino gets new job
By Melissa Hale-Spencer
Michael Paolino, who left after less than a year as the Guilderland High School principal, now has an interim job as principal of Troy’s middle school.
Troy’s school board voted unanimously, 7 to 0, on Monday night to appoint Paolino to the $400-per-day post, according to Caroline Boardman, spokeswoman for the City School District of Troy.
“There was no discussion,” she said at the board meeting.
The “effective date,” Boardman said, is Dec. 19, 2008 and the interim job runs until June 30, 2009.
The post at the W. Kenneth Doyle Middle School was left vacant when Diana Germain, who had been principal, got another job, said Boardman. The district has posted to find a replacement for her, Boardman said.
The district’s only middle school, Doyle serves seventh- and eighth-graders, Boardman said. The Troy district serves 4,300 students in nine buildings.
The Guilderland School District had placed Paolino on paid administrative leave last July without explanation. In September, he agreed to a settlement that paid his $110,000 annual salary until Dec. 31.
Paolino told The Enterprise this fall that he wanted to stay in education, as that is what he cared most about.
“I just know that’s my passion…,” he said. “I’m trying to put my time at Guilderland behind me and then move forward. And if I had a choice, in terms of the direction to move, it would still be in the field of education.”
Paolino could not be reached for comment this week.
After nearly a decade as a popular teacher and administrator in Voorheesville, Paolino had taken the Guilderland job in the fall of 2007. He was both confident and enthused then as, at age 35, he said it was a dream job he had pursued before.
Neither Paolino nor the district would comment on the reason for his leave.
Letters from Guilderland’s superintendent to Paolino that The Enterprise obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request said that Paolino was investigated for “allegations of sexual harassment” and that the district investigation “did not result in any findings that you engaged in any racial harassment or racially bigoted behavior at the GHS.”
Superintendent John McGuire had also told The Enterprise, “There are no health, safety, or security concerns.”
A school board member said that claims of inappropriate comments were investigated.
The Guilderland School District was embroiled last summer in massive highly-publicized protests as two high-school social-studies teachers fought their transfer to the middle school. A consultant had reported there was a hostile work environment in their department.
Paolino said this fall that he understood the need for the administrative leave and, as the protests on the teachers’ transfers got a lot of publicity, he said, “I didn’t want to put any more negative light on the school district or any negative light on myself or my family, and, again, I tried to work as respectfully as I could with the school district to move forward in the process and that’s how I handled it.”