The longtime principal of the Amityville School District resigned from her post and was quickly hired by the Bridgehampton School District, school officials confirmed on Friday.
Mary Kelly had been the Amityville District Superintendent for over seven years when the school board accepted her resignation at its May 18 meeting. His last day will be Monday, according to a statement released Friday by school spokeswoman Marissa Gallo.
It’s unclear if there was a link between Kelly’s resignation and the fallout in the district on a teacher accused of making a race-insensitive comment at a football game last month.
“My 13 years in Amityville, including the seven and a half years as Superintendent, have been personally and professionally rewarding. I will always remember my stay here with great fondness for the students and the community,” said Kelly, according to a written declaration provided by Gallo.
On Wednesday, eight days after the meeting, Kelly was welcomed to the Bridgehampton School District during her school board meeting. She begins this job on July 1, said Gallo, who works for the Syntax company, which provides public relations for many school districts on Long Island.
Bridgehampton school officials said they welcomed Kelly “with open arms,” according to a statement on the district’s website.
On Friday, attempts to reach Kelly were unsuccessful.
On May 12, the Amityville School Board suspended a Memorial High School teacher accused of making a racially insensitive comment towards black players during a live broadcast of a school football game on April 24.
The suspended teacher, who is white and has not been identified, is awaiting a hearing by a state arbitrator.
If the teacher is found guilty of the charges or refuses to go through the hearing process, the board will seek his dismissal, officials said.
Kelly became embroiled in controversy. Several parents criticized him for waiting nine days to inform the public of the incident.
In a May 3 letter posted to the district’s website, Kelly said, “The teacher is not speaking on behalf of our school district. We believe the alleged statement is reprehensible and inconsistent with Amityville’s values. Fine. that we understand and sympathize with the anger and sadness being expressed by members of our community, the district must follow the appropriate procedures. “
The comment purportedly said by the teacher used race-insensitive stereotypes, according to Reverend Saba Mchunguzi, president of the NAACP’s Long Island Central Branch.
Parents and community members lined up at the high school on May 12 to condemn the teacher and criticize what they claim was a slow reaction from the district to the incident.
The student body in the Amityville school district is 90 percent Black or Hispanic, according to data from the State Education Department.
Another senior education official in Amityville resigned during this time. Andrea Pekar, Amityville’s assistant superintendent for programs and education, said she submitted her resignation on May 14. Her last day is June 11, she said.
Pekar said she quit for “professional reasons” and that it had nothing to do with Kelly leaving or the incident at the football game.
She praised Kelly as “a strong advocate for students. I saw her as a visionary for Amityville.”