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No word on future of Heuvelton Principal’s contract

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HEUVELTON – Nothing was decided regarding the contract of Heuvelton Central School High School Principal Michael W. Warden at Wednesday’s board of education meeting.

Prior to the board going into executive session to discuss the contract, roughly 40 community members and students filled the board room to show their support for Mr. Warden.

“As a graduate of Heuvelton, I’ve had the chance to look back at my experience here,” Catherine Bennet said. “[Mr. Warden is] one of only two teachers who actually remembers that I am going to Saint Lawrence University. I’ve never met a teacher, or an administrator, who seemed to care more.”

Stephanie Lashomb, a mother of two children in the district, said Mr. Warden has helped make the school a place where families feel welcomed.

“To be a contributing member of society, I feel that Mr. Warden prepares students by showing them, not by preaching at them,” she said. “I just want everyone to know what a good guy he is.”

Mrs. Lashomb’s daughter, Kaitlyn, who is graduating this weekend, said, “I’d like to thank Mr. Warden for always having his door open.”

Kaitlyn said Mr. Warden has always been accessible to students. “I could always talk to him no matter what it was.”

Other speakers recounted times Mr. Warden has written letters of recommendation for their children or examples of his fair-mindedness in dealing with disputes.

“There’s not a day I come into the school that I don’t see Mr. Warden engaged with a student or walking up to me to shake my hand,” said Greg Foster. “We’re very lucky to have him.”

Mr. Warden couldn’t comment on the outpouring of public support, or the details of his contract negotiation, but Board President Michael J. Davis thanked community members for coming to the meeting to make their opinions known.

In advance of the meeting the board had distributed a list of rules for making complaints at board meetings.

None of the 23 speakers violated the board’s rules.

Superintendent Susan E. Todd said nothing was decided with Mr. Warden’s contract during executive session. “I just think that there was some misinformation that went out and panicked people in the community.”

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