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Mar 23, 2011 11:32 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District Fires Groundskeeper

Mar 23, 2011 11:32 AM

A groundskeeper who had been employed by the Southampton School District for 23 years was fired last week, according to district officials.

The firing followed a civil service disciplinary hearing that took place over several sessions, Superintendent J. Richard Boyes, Ed.D. said.

The district had filed disciplinary charges of misconduct against the groundskeeper, Ronnie Wiggins, early in the school year, although few details have been released.

Officials said they discussed the findings of the hearing officer, David Arntsen, who recommended termination, in an executive session on on March 15. The measure was then added to the agenda for a subsequent public meeting that evening. Mr. Wiggins’s termination went into effect the next day.

Dr. Boyes said the charges were strictly related to Mr. Wiggins’s job performance. “The findings of the hearing was essentially that he did not follow the specific rules and protocols that he was expected to do in connection with his job,” Dr. Boyes said, declining to divulge more details.

Another employee—whose identity officials have not revealed, though the superintendent had said in the fall that the staffer was also a non-instructional, civil service employee—was slapped with disciplinary misconduct charges at around the same time as Mr. Wiggins, but the district had reached an agreement with the employee in that case early on. That employee has not been identified, and it is unclear if the two actions were connected.

Mr. Wiggins was hired on July 1, 1987, and received an annual base salary of $56,165, according to District Clerk Mary Pontieri. As one of three groundskeepers for the district, he worked at all three public schools—the elementary, intermediate and high schools, officials said.

Efforts to contact Mr. Wiggins were unsuccessful.

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By tulip (8), calverton on Mar 18, 11 6:43 PM
That was my thought when I read it, why try to embarass him with putting his name down. He reads to me like there is more to this story than Mr. Boyes was willing to disclose. Sounds more personal than disciplinary
By brandy (1), Bellport on Mar 23, 11 7:34 PM
I wondered that too. So I inquired about it and was told that everything that takes place in a public school board meeting is public record. Now the press could have opted not to mention his name but then they wouldnt have had much of a story...not that this is really "news" but hey its winter...things are a little slow on the "news" front. Its a small town, everyone know each other so of course people are going to read the story to find out who the groundskeeper is. My question is...is this ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Mar 26, 11 11:11 PM
Have any of you people seen the shape of Southampton schools? Why does it cost Southampton more than twice the state average and the highest on LI to educate it's students. Who by the way consistently score lower on standardized tests than school districts who spend much less. If it weren't for all the rich 2nd home owners in the areas the average homeowner would be paying 20k a year in property taxes. You people better start looking into where all this money has been going for the past twenty years. ...more
By maxwell (169), speonk on Mar 21, 11 1:23 PM
4 members liked this comment
As always, I have two words:

By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Mar 24, 11 9:03 PM
for that kind of money, why am I sending my kid to school with fifty dollars worth of "school supplies "each year while the kid has no textbooks ( tons of dittos though)
By lo-cal (78), southampton on Mar 21, 11 7:04 PM
The question is, why are there kids entering high school reading on a fourth or fifth grade level? Followed by, why are some not completing high school or being shifted off to BOCES? (see question one) And, why are the expectations so low.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Mar 24, 11 12:38 AM
2 members liked this comment
The question is what are the parents doing? They also hold some responsibility for making sure that their children are reading at grade level and not being shifted off to BOCES. Teachers can only do so much...parents have to play an ACTIVE role in their child’s education. If a kid was not reading at grade level I’m sure it came up way before they got to high school...the question is what did the parents do to help their child get up to speed? We really need to stop expect teachers ...more
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Mar 30, 11 10:32 PM
1 member liked this comment

Now we can't get the News (In Full) from this site anymore without paying money - - - - - - - - IT SUCKS - -
By pride of bonac (42), easthampton on Mar 29, 11 8:32 PM