Dr. Margaret Keller-Cogan left behind a stormy relationship with the Clarkstown Board of Education when her contract as superintendent was not renewed in 2012. After six years in Clarkstown, she accepted a position as the head of school for the Elmwood Franklin School, an independent school near Buffalo enrolling preschoolers through eighth graders. On Friday night, the school board sent a letter to parents notifying them that the board would be negotiating the terms of Keller-Cogan’s departure.
The letter stated, “Clearly we have difficult issues to address and your passionate and heartfelt comments are taken very seriously by all of the board members.”
An estimated 300 parents, faculty members, alumni and corporation members attended a meeting on Thursday night to discuss what was happening at the school. Takeaways from the meeting can be read on the alumni Facebook page.
Within recent weeks, three staff members were terminated and the faculty had petitioned to join the New York State United Teachers union. The staff and faculty previously sent a May 7 letter to parents explaining why they were taking steps to form the Elmwood Franklin School Faculty and Staff Association. There were calls at the Thursday meeting for their reinstatement and a restructuring of the board.
Keller-Cogan is still listed on Elmwood Franklin’s web site as head of the school. A message was left requesting a statement from school officials; there is none on the school’s web site.