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Patrona Petition Signatures Surge

As of late Friday morning, 246 people had signed the petition—itself launched late Wednesday—calling for Saxe Middle School fifth-grade teacher Michael Patrona’s reinstatement.

 

Since launching late Wednesday, 246 people have signed an online petition urging New Canaan Public Schools officials to reinstate a popular Saxe Middle School teacher.

District officials asked fifth-grade teacher Michael Patrona for his resignation Friday, according to one source with first-hand knowledge of the matter, after he apparently allowed his professional certification to lapse. While a lack of up-to-date certification prohibits a teacher from providing classroom instruction, it isn’t clear whether the district also is obligated to seek termination in those cases, or whether there’s more leeway.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Kolek declined to clarify that point when reached by Patch late Wednesday and also declined to address Patrona’s case specifically, citing personnel issues.

The Board of Education is scheduled to meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. A PDF of the agenda is attached. The meeting will commence at 7:30 p.m. following one hour’s executive session where the board will discuss “security measures,” the agenda says. The meeting will include a public comment period. It isn’t clear whether the district will address the Patrona situation. District officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The online petition is addressed to Kolek, school board Chair Alison Bedula, Vice Chair Scott Gress and Principal Greg Macedo.

Macedo on Monday notified parents of Saxe students in Patrona’s homeroom and one other teacher’s homeroom that their kids had been told that Patrona left “owing to personal reasons.”

Many parents have expressed frustration here in Patch comments threads about what they call a lack of information and transparency from the district. Kolek has called for understanding as the schools works through the matter.

Here’s part of what the online petition reads:

“Reinstate beloved 5th grade teacher Michael Patrona and show that you value quality educators over paperwork. Work with Michael to solve the problem, not make it go away. Show him and your community that you know what a strong teacher is and you value the education of all students.”

Glen K Dunbar March 29, 2013 at 06:01 PM
I would sign it for sure. Fire the poor guy just because of paper work glitch is so unfair. Mary, do the right thing and give this man his job back w/ a pay raise to boot
Lisa March 30, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Students get "F's" for late assignments. Why should teachers be treated differently? Highly unlikely that Patrona did not receive a number of warnings about his pending deadline. This is a good life learning experience for Saxe students. If you don't get your work done, there will be consequences.
Jon S. March 30, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Students get "F's" for late assignments, but they wouldn't get expelled, which is more like what happened with Mr. P. And I don't know if students will learn the "consequences" lesson you think they will. More likely, they'll learn that flat-footed bureaucrats are quicker to pounce on infractions than to solve problems.
Local Parent March 30, 2013 at 04:39 AM
Right, a simple monetary punishment, as in he would be dropped to a substitute until remedied, would have worked.
canaan guy March 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Lisa.... Life learing experiences? Come on...... kids that age know one thing.....Ma....can I get an i phone?

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