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Oct 20, 2015 4:21 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District Sheds Light On New Administrative Changes

Oct 20, 2015 5:30 PM

The Southampton School District has released more information about recent administrative changes announced last week, after former high school Assistant Principal Esther Adler-O’Keefe’s appearance in a racy music video.

Meanwhile, rapper Trey Songz has spoken out about Ms. Adler-O’Keefe’s change of duties, saying she heard the song “Best Friends” and knew the lyrics at the time the video was shot, despite her denial last month.

Ms. Adler-O’Keefe appears at both the beginning and end of the music video, in which she and her real-life husband, Brian O’Keefe, play a couple who rent their lavish home to JR, who with Trey Songz and other friends proceeds to throw a wild party while the homeowners are gone.

On Friday, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Farina said that Ms. Adler-O’Keefe will now hold the title of coordinator of academic support services. Her new responsibilities include handling district security and health and safety matters, working with outside agencies to schedule use of facilities, and serving as the chair of the Committee on Special Education, or CSE.

Her salary, which is $142,000, will remain the same, and she will retain her tenured status, Dr. Farina said.

The superintendent said he could not disclose whether firing Ms. Adler-O’Keefe was an option. Last month, as news of her appearance in the video spread, he told The Press that “the video in question showcases behaviors and language use that is not promoted by the Southampton School District.

“This is not representative of who we are as a district, nor of our students and staff,” he added.

Ms. Adler-O’Keefe had defended her involvement in the video, telling The Press at the time that she “was completely unaware of the content, lyrics and title of the video and song.

“Had I known of such content or lyrics, I certainly would not have participated in any fashion. I find the lyrics and content of the music video vulgar, offensive and demeaning,” she added.

While leaving a club in West Hollywood Friday night, however, Trey Songz told TMZ that he felt bad about Ms. Adler-O’Keefe’s reassignment, but that “she knew what was up.

“She heard the song a million times,” he told the entertainment news giant. “I mean, I feel bad. I definitely want to reach out to her.

“She didn’t do nothing wrong,” he added. “It was cool. She was on the level with the students.”

Ms. Adler-O’Keefe did not respond to a request for comment this week.

Now serving as assistant principal at the high school is Susan Wright, also a tenured employee, who previously held the position of assistant principal at the intermediate school. Her salary, which SeeThroughNY.com reported as being $144,736 for the 2014-15 fiscal year, will increase to $151,000 because of increased commitments during after-school hours, Dr. Farina said.

Now the district is searching to replace Ms. Wright at the intermediate school, but her old administrative position will be filled by an existing teacher who will serve as the dean of students instead. That position will entail many of the same duties an assistant principal would handle, but because Ms. Adler-O’Keefe will be taking on some of the tasks of that administrator, the district determined that a dean of students would be more appropriate, the superintendent said.

District officials will look internally until Friday to fill that position, and whoever is appointed will keep his or her present salary. The district then will have to find a replacement for that teacher, which will cost an estimated $55,000, Dr. Farina explained.

He said the administrative switches offer several chances to save money. For one, Ms. Adler-O’Keefe’s new position means that the district will not have to contract out for a CSE chair as it usually does, or hire a new director of security, as the previous one left a year ago. Dr. Farina said the district used to budget about $36,000 for a CSE chair, and the website FindTheData.com reports that in 2012, the district’s director of security made $57,812.

Also, because the district will most likely select one of the more seasoned teachers who earn about $125,000 as the dean of students, it will save as much as $70,000 in replacing the seasoned teacher.

“It’s not a wash, but it’s a good balance,” Dr. Farina said.

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Even with Common Core math or traditional math, the choice that the SHS VP made to appear in this video is going to cost Southampton School District taxpayers money, no matter how you look at it. Why should we take a financial hit when she takes none?
What is this teaching our students? There are no financial consequences for your actions~~ don't worry, someone else will pick up the slack? If it is proven that she also lied, that just makes the lesson worse.
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Oct 20, 15 9:17 PM