Hammond School Superintendent Fired

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Doug McQueer says "personality differences" with the school board cost him his job as superintendent of the Hammond Central School District.

He tells 7 News the board reappointed him as superintendent during its July 9 meeting and then went into executive session for 15 minutes.

The next day, the school board president and vice president arrived at his office and told him the board had voted to terminate his contract.

McQueer says Board President Tim Pitcher cited job performance as the reason.

However, McQueer tells 7 News that "personality differences with board members is essentially what's behind the decision."

According to McQueer, he didn't even have a contract because it expired on June 30 and contract negotiations were incomplete.

Pitcher denies there was a personal conflict with McQueer.

"The board was not happy with the direction the district was taking," he said.

Pitcher says the graduation rate has dropped to 69 percent and while "the superintendent did some things well, there were a lot of things we had problems with."

Pitcher says the board voted unanimously to not renew McQueer's contract.

"The board felt they needed to go in a new direction," he said. "They didn't go into this blindly and wanted to make sure they were making the right decision. It's not something you take lightly." 

McQueer had a long history with the district, having been superintendent for seven years and a math teacher for 11 years.

McQueer declined to comment further about the board's reasons for terminating him, saying he needs to talk to his lawyer. 

He says he is staying on the job until July 30 to help with any transition to interim leadership. 

McQueer says he is unsure of his future, but will be taking time off in August to decide what he wants to pursue.

The school board has contacted Thomas Burns, superintendent of the St. Lawrence - Lewis BOCES, for help in finding an interim superintendent. 

Pitcher says the board wishes McQueer the best of luck. 
 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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