Tenure decisions will be announced at the May 11 meeting of the Mamaroneck School Board. Forty-nine staff members are eligible, according to a list obtained by the Gazette through a Freedom of Information Law request. In recent years, the list has been made public by the district in the fall.
The list includes two assistant superintendents (Anthony Minotti and Meryl Rubinstein) and the Central School principal, Carol Houseknecht. (Click for the full list.) It also includes Jennifer Rosenzweig, an English teacher at the high school.
Many of Ms. Rosenzweig’s students are waiting to hear whether she will be among those granted tenure, even though she has not received a recommendation from the principal, Dr. Mark Orfinger. Hopes are waning, despite the many emotional pleas made by students and parents in support of the teacher at the last board meeting.
Students learned before spring break that Ms. Rosenzweig had not been recommended by the principal. A contingent met with the Dr. Orfinger and later with the superintendent, Dr. Paul Fried, in an attempt to have the recommendation reversed.
Students mobilized further, creating a Facebook page, circulating a petition and speaking up at the April board meeting. A few hours before that meeting, Dr. Orfinger announced he would be retiring in July. He said his decision was not related to the controversy over Ms. Rosenzweig.
Students have been continuing to advocate for their teacher. A recent thread on the “Support Ms. Rosenzweig” Facebook page describes an effort to have seniors vote for Ms. Rosenzweig to be one of the speakers at graduation.
Another post by Rebecca Paganini suggests tenure is unlikely, but describes her meeting with the superintendent on April 15 and suggests another meeting is possible. She writes: “Ok, so today i talked to dr. fried and it really seems like mrs. rosenzweig isnt going to be tenured. i organized a meeting with the central office but only 15 people can come. when i am told when and where ill post it. let me know if you want to come!”
Rebecca told the Gazette there was nothing new to report from her talk with Dr. Fried. The superintendent mostly reiterated his description of the tenure process.
However, the board and administration are continuing to discuss Ms. Rosenzweig’s tenure.
“The board has been in constant conversation with Dr. Fried on this issue,” school board president Linnet Tse told the Gazette on Thursday, April 29. However, she had no further details to report.
The administration and board have explained in various public and private sessions that they are unable to comment about specifics of personnel issues. The decision to recommend an employee for tenure rests with the superintendent, as explained at the April meeting. The board may accept or reject the recommendation, but may not grant tenure to someone the superintendent has not recommended.
Despite the lack of news, Rebecca remained hopeful about Ms. Rosenzweig getting tenure. “I think it is still possible,” she said. “They are taking notice of what we are doing and saying.”