Judith Pandolfo, former assistant superintendent for elementary education who is retiring following the 2014-15 school year, will receive $94,004 in paid leave through Dec. 31, according to information provided by Darien Public Schools.
The amount is half of her 2013-14 salary.
Starting Jan. 1, 2015, she will be on unpaid leave until her retirement, which will take effect June 30, 2015, according to interim Superintendent of Schools Lynne Pierson in a news release issued July 30.
In an interview Thursday, July 31, Pierson would not elaborate on why Pandolfo would be on paid leave until Dec. 31 and said to refer to the July 30 news release, which was unspecific.
Pandolfo's position was eliminated as part of the administrative restructuring that took effect July 1. The two assistant superintendent positions were eliminated and an assistant superintendent of K-12 curriculum was created. Tim Canty, who was the assistant superintendent of secondary schools, was appointed to the new position.
Because Pandolfo was displaced as part of the reorganization, Connecticut tenure law allowed her to step into an available administrative position for which she was qualified.
Pandolfo, who began her Darien employment in 2005, told Pierson of her plans to retire at the end of the 2014-15 school year and "expressed concerns about assuming a new administrative position for only one year," according to the news release.
Pierson would not elaborate on when Pandolfo told the superintendent of her plans to retire.
Tenure law also allows employees to maintain their employment year after year without a written contract, unless they resign or retire. In Darien, staff and faculty received a letter of salary agreement for the upcoming school year. For the most part, Darien administrators try to get all of the letters to staff before June 30, according to Pierson, however this year they fell behind on doing so because of the snow days and end-of-the-school-year activities.
"We are always put teaching staff and paraprofessional staff first because they have contracts with the language in it that frequently says that they must be notified (of their salary) by a certain date," Pierson said in the interview.
Pandolfo was hired in 2005 as an assistant superintendent and was paid a salary of $144,000. Since 2005, Pandolfo worked under a contract that was renewed every three years, according to information provided by the school system. Her 2011-14 contract expired June 30.
"I'm very pleased that we were able to resolve this and the district is looking forward to moving forward," Pierson said in the interview.
When asked if Pandolfo threatened to sue the district, Pierson would not comment.