West Jefferson Hills board holds ground in Kinavey decision
By Stephanie Hacke
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Nearly three years after voting to fire Superintendent Terry Kinavey, West Jefferson Hills School Board members have said they're sticking with their decision.
Board members in a 6-0 vote last week approved a resolution reaffirming Kinavey's Sept. 28, 2010, termination. She had been accused of misleading them and plagiarizing documents prior to being fired.
Kinavey is challenging her termination in court.
Board members David Graham and Darlene Schreiber and Vice President Shauna D'Alessandro abstained from last week's vote.
“At its essence, what this case is about is whether the district should be compelled to employ as its superintendent of schools a person that is dishonest with the board about matters pertaining to the administration of this district and passes off work of others as if it's her own,” the resolution states. “It is inconceivable that section 1080 of the Public School Code would require that to happen.”
Kinavey's lawyer, Ernest DeHaas, declined to comment on Monday. He said he had yet to receive the resolution from district officials.
Kinavey was suspended from the district in 2009 after residents questioned her removal of long-term substitute teacher Denise Breisinger's name from a hiring list.
She was fired in September 2010 after testimony and an initial termination hearing that lasted 15 sessions in which district officials presented evidence they said showed she violated district procedures, as well as plagiarized materials and speeches.
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Alan Hertzberg sent Kinavey's termination appeal back before the school board to hear additional testimony.
During the remand hearings, it was confirmed that emails were sent in the district that included Breisinger on a list of teachers to be hired and an email was sent to her congratulating her on being hired, the resolution states.
These emails opened on Kinavey's desktop in 2009, while district leaders were investigating the removal of Breisinger's name from the hiring list, according to the resolution. Kinavey never disclosed this information to board members, it states.
Instead, she testified that what she viewed from her computer, through a CD, was “gobbledygook,” the resolution states. That would have been the case only if she viewed the emails from outside of the district server, it says.
The resolution also clarifies the board's previous decision to name director of human resources Hamsini Rajgopal as the district's acting assistant superintendent to state that this was not a reward for any testimony she offered.
Board members, in a separate motion last week, accepted Rajgopal's resignation from the district. She said she is leaving to pursue other opportunities.
S tephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Enhanced security a sign of times in South Hills municipal governments
- Accreditation team applauds Baldwin for doing it right
- Residents getting best of budget alterations in Baldwin Borough
- Household hazardous waste collection part of borough’s new garbage contract
- Thomas Jefferson student-athletes get ready to showcase their dancing skills
- Princess Lanes caters to leagues, families in updated facility
- Infrastructure focus of proposed Brentwood budget
- Fictitious pharaohs get royal treatment at Pleasant Hills Middle School
- Brentwood school board election winners sworn in
- Brentwood pool rates slashed in effort to boost attendance
- Brentwood rec director could split her duties with Baldwin