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Andover officials answering questions on why removed superintendent was hired, what’s next and shared services with Whitesville

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BY JOHN ANDERSON

Volunteer school board members at Andover Central Schools are being asked a lot of questions since Dr. Derek Schuelein was placed on paid administrative leave and asked to leave the building on Sept. 9.

Questions range from why was he hired after being fired from a job in Rye, NY, to why a new superintendent has not been named. In a story first reported by the Wellsville Sun, on Friday, Sept. 9,  Schuelein was told to leave the school and not return as he was placed on paid administrative leave and Kathryn Slavinsky was named acting superintendent.

On March 21, 2021, Schuelein resigned from his job as Rye High School Principal and did not return to school. While Schuelein said he was pursuing other opportunities, the school in a release said, “Dr. Schuelein’s resignation and request for a personal leave of absence are not in any way related to the recent rumors disseminated in the community, which, as stated in an earlier communication this week, are completely false.”

The tamest rumor was Schuelein was escorted off the grounds, which the school said was not true.
He was hired by Andover on Thursday, July 19, 2021. At the time, a press release said CA BOCES District Superintendent, Scott Payne, who served as search consultant, said he was pleased with the process and the Board’s decision. “Dr. Schuelein is eager and engaged and I feel confident that he will make an immediate impact in the Andover district.”

When asked about the hiring, Andover Central School Board of Education President Brian Perkins said, “There was a process where we looked into the circumstances during the hiring process, and it was determined that wasn’t impactful on his hiring.”

Perkins also explained Andover Central School has a contract that has run out with the former superintendent of schools before a new leader can be named. The reason Slavinsky is not the interim is because of the wording. Perkins said while Schuelein is under contract, the tag “interim” can not be used.
“This is the only step in the process, we can’t move into any new steps until things are settled with Dr. Schuelein,” Perkins said.

After the superintendent was released in Andover, a few parents of both Andover and Whitesville have asked the Wellsville Sun why there is not one superintendent for the small districts. The sports teams have merged and in some cases, both schools are paying head coaches. A Whitesville parent said one class has just seven children in the entire grade.

When asked about a shared superintendent, Perkins said, “We haven’t even talked about the possibilities of that. We still have a superintendent under contract.”

When Schuelein was hired, a press release from Andover said  he had nearly 20 years of experience in public education, was most recently the Principal at Rye High School in Rye City. Previously, Schuelein served as an Assistant Principal at the secondary level and then as High School Principal in the Blind Brook School District. He was also a Coordinator for CTE and an Assistant Principal for Pupil Personnel Services in other New York districts. Prior to his roles in administration, Schuelein was a social studies teacher.

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