Two counselors who were placed on administrative leave in October 0f 2007 no longer appear in the budget for 2010-2011. Elizabeth Denhoff and Haruko Hirose, both tenured guidance counselors at the Hommocks Middle School, had not been meeting with students but had been on the payroll.
In response to a budget question this week, Mamaroneck School Board President Linnet Tse issued a terse statement that referred to only one of the counselors: “The hearing has concluded and the District has received the decision in the matter. Ms. Denhoff is no longer employed by the District.”
Asked for further clarification, Mamaroneck Schools spokesperson Debbie Manetta confirmed that last year’s budget included counselors who were not assigned to a specific school.
Presumably, the unassigned counselors included Ms. Denhoff, who until a few weeks ago had been reporting to an office in the bus garage across from Mamaroneck Avenue School. At one point Ms. Hirose was assigned to a separate office at the high school, but not as a counselor.
“This year, there are no unassigned counselors,” Ms. Manetta said.
Neither the district nor the counselors have provided details on the charges or the hearings. However, according to a petition filed with the NY State education commissioner on behalf of Ms. Denhoff in April, 2008, the district had charged her with 20 violations of misconduct or neglect. The most serious was that she “trapped a less senior guidance counselor in an office while berating, harassing and/or threatening her for approximately one hour.” (See: Details Revealed in Charges Against HMS Counselor.)
Ms. Denhoff has spoken with the media in the past, but declined to do so this week. Ms. Hirose has not made public comment.