scale-illOP-ED by Kelly Platt

On June 1st at the Center Moriches board of education meeting, cronyism and nepotism has continued once again with the hiring of more of School Superintendent Russell Stewart’s friends from his former district of Commack School District.
The new hire for the varsity football coaching position, Joseph Reggio, who is originally from Commack Schools as their football coach and is the friend of Russell Stewart was hired in this position. Joseph Reggio is also the father of Middle School Principal Melissa Reggio-Bates who was also given tenure the same night. Mrs. Melissa Bates qualification in this position has become a concern to many taxpayers in the district for lack of work experience as a teacher, being employed part-time as a gym teacher without teaching for a number of years in any curricular courses while at Commack Schools which does not qualify a person to step into a position of this magnitude with lack of employment experience.
Since the hiring of Russell Stewart, key administration positions were given to his friends with whom he worked with while at Commack Schools. He also hired friends of his spouse to work within our schools district with the approval from the majority on the board of education.
Previously, Russell Stewart hired his best friend from Commack to be our school athletic director and gave him tenure after six days of being employed in our district of Center Moriches. He hired another administrator to work in the high school also from Commack Schools who was hired as the associate principal and was recently promoted to Assistant to the Superintendent to another countless newly created position.
Other appointees close to Russell Stewart were hired in the Custodial staff, security and as a paraprofessional. Most likely to spy on other staff members and to report back to him, which was done in the past.
Not too long ago, Russell Stewart violated the collective bargaining unit among teachers when it came time for them to vote on a new health care plan. Telling teachers how to vote on a health care plan and not disclosing who the person was, who would collect commission from this deal on the taxpayers backs, but later the person recanted saying he may have not taken the money.
Nepotism is frowned upon by the New York State Department of Education as well as elected State Officials and should be enforced and adhered to by our board of education to prevent such hirings, but they have turned a blind eye to it all and allow these hirings to take place.
To Be Continued……..

Filed in: Center Moriches Update

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