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Battle over superintendent's contract in Stroudsburg

Battle over superintendent's contract in Stroudsburg

STROUDSBURG, Pa. - The head of the Stroudsburg School District in Monroe County is waiting to see whether he has a job next year.

A dust-up over his contract has a lot of people picking sides.

There's a battle brewing in Stroudsburg over the school superintendent's position.

Last week the school board served notice to John Toleno that his services will not longer be needed at the end of the school year.

"Essentially he got a seven year term from the board and that was clearly illegal under Pennsylvania law," said Jeffery Sultanik, solicitor for the school board.

The alleged illegal contract stems from an extension that Toleno received back in 2011.

The board asked Toleno to take a pay freeze and in exchange extended his superintendent contract to 2015.

"Never once did any board member think that we were doing anything wrong or in violation of anything," added John Jakobsen, a board member for the last seven years.

With both sides not seeing eye to eye, parents have joined the fray as well.

An on-line petition was started asking to recall Stroudsburg board president Richard Pierce and board vice president Bruce Stewart.

Neither responded to 69 News about the petition, and Stewart referred questions about Toleno to the solicitor Jeffrey Sultanik.

"It is ultimately the position of the board that Dr. Toleno's appointment and commission as superintendent of schools is illegal," said Sultanik.

Not all board members agree with the statement.

The vote to put Toleno on notice was five to four.

"If we did something wrong, we didn't know about it," said Jakobsen. "If they changed the law no one told us about it."

Now the decision will be in the hands of a board appointed officer, who is expected to make a decision on June 14.

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