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Dec 18, 2017 10:06 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Eastport South Manor School Board Pushes Back Tenure Decision For Teacher

Bella Recine holds up a shirt she made in support of Glenn Mayola. VALERIE GORDON
Dec 18, 2017 5:01 PM

The Eastport South Manor Board of Education unanimously agreed last week to extend by another year the probationary period for an unidentified teacher—identified by multiple parents and students as popular science teacher Glenn Mayola.

Mr. Mayola has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after sources said he violated the high school’s “no food” rule when he used M&Ms as part of a science lab held the week before Thanksgiving.

Mr. Mayola has not attended the two most recent meetings of the Board of Education, and has not responded to requests for an interview.

On Wednesday, December 13, board members voted to push off the unidentified educator’s tenure review, originally scheduled for this past July 2017, to June 30, 2018—in response to a written request by the teacher in a letter dated November 29, 2017, according to district officials.

Administrators said they could not publicly explain why the educator was never offered tenure this past summer, when he was first eligible, stating that the decision pertains to personnel and thus is confidential.

“I am absolutely disgusted that his job is in jeopardy over something as simple as M&Ms,” Thomas Tascarella, a former student of the district, stated as he addressed the School Board during last week’s meeting. “I believe that’s very disrespectful, [and] I don’t want the future generation to miss out on Mr. Mayola.”

Mr. Tascarella was one of six current and former students of Mr. Mayola who took to the podium to defend the educator.

“As students, we are expected to speak up when we feel mistreated, so when I feel that one of the best teachers that I have ever had has been mistreated, I plan to do the same,” said Sarah Franceschini, a senior at the high school. “Without Mr. Mayola, ESM is a district that I do not want to see.”

Sage Papile, a sophomore taking Mr. Mayola’s honors chemistry class, added: “If you think his tenure being extended until June [2018] will silence us, you are wrong. We will be here fighting for him in June just like we are today, because we stand with Mr. Mayola.”

Schools Superintendent Patrick Brimstein did not address those who addressed the board prior to members voting to extend the unidentified teacher’s probationary period.

In a previous interview, Mr. Brimstein suggested that it was not unusual for teachers—such as those who are “clearly not meeting expectations,” or have “other performance concerns”—to request a stay on their tenure reviews.

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