Reginald Richardson speaks at press conference at New Rochelle City Hall a day after death of Valaree Schwab

Former New Rochelle High School Principal Paid $160,000 to Resign for Second Time

Written By: Robert Cox

NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The City School District of New Rochelle spent $160,000 in taxpayer dollars in August to get from Reginald Richardson what he offered for free in July — namely, to go away.

In exchange for Richardson’s resignation and his waiver of all claims against the District, both parties agreed that Richardson would be paid a lump gross sum of $160,000 within 10 days after ratification of his Separation Agreement by the New Rochelle Board of Education.

The board approved Resolution Number 19-80-4, accepting Richardson’s registration on August 7th.

At the same meeting, the board named New Rochelle High School Assistant Principal Joseph Starvaggi as interim Principal and House Principal Camille Edwards-Thomas as Interim Assistant Principal. Edwards-Thomas was slated to become Assistant Pirncipal of Albert Leonard Middle School.

Talk of the Sound obtained acopy of Richrason’s Seperation Agreement under a Freedom of Information request.

Under terms of the Separation Agreement Richardson will continue to be carried under the District’s health plan so long as he makes the required monthly premium payment until June 30, 2019. Richardson agreed to make himself avilable as needed over the next year for adminisrtative matters and investigations.

An investigation launched in May, following a report in Talk of the Sound on questions about the hiring of Shadia Alvarez as a New Rochelle High School House Principal despite sustained charges in the New York City schools that she falsified time sheets to steal money and Richardson’s decision to hire her, over the objections of the school’s hiring committee, and pay her a $5,000 stiped to run the Apex credit recovery program, has been completed but details have not been made public.

For Richardson it was his second resignation in three weeks. He first submitted his resignation to the City School District of New Rochelle on July 19th with an effective date of August 20th to take a job in New York City. On July 21st, after Susan Edelman of The New York Post began asking questions of the NYC Department of Education, the DOE notified Richardson his job offer had been rescinded. On July 26th, Richardson notified the New Rochelle School District that he was rescinding his resignation submitted on July 19th.

In a statement, New Rochelle Board of Education President Jeffrey Hastie said “We are pleased that we were able to settle this in an amicable fashion. We were looking to move forward and Mr. Richardson, being the person who he is, wanted to put the district first and the students first, and start the year free of distractions, so I commend him for that.”

The $160,000 payout was a mess of the District’s own making.

First, Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne to the unprecedented step of issuing a lengthy public statement praising Richardson and disclosing the details of his intended future employment opportunity. As a result of this publicity, the New York Post immediately launched an inquiry with the New York City DOE and a result the DOE rescinded their offer.

Second, had the board met immediately after the news broke in the New York Post that Richardson’s job offer had been rescinded they could have accepted Richardson’s first resignation and owed him nothing.

The $160,000 figure is precisely what Richardson claims the DOE offered to pay him to work for one year as a consultant under the title of Vice President of Schoo Quality.