School Board Trustees Clash

Superintendent’s departure announcement leads to criticism between board members


Clarkstown School Board Member Diane Hoeneveld read a statement at Thursday night’s board meeting criticizing other trustees.  Her remarks came after the announcement earlier in the week by Superintendent Margaret Keller-Cogan that she had accepted a position with an independent school in Buffalo and was leaving the district at the end of the school year.  Hoeneveld blamed other board members for the loss of who she described as the best superintendent the district ever had. 

“We shall never have another superintendent like you,” said Hoeneveld. “Thank you for all that you have done for the , its children, its staff and its community.”

Hoeneveld went on to name six other people who she said had left the district because of the “majority four.”  She said she felt the four, Phil DeGaetano, Donna Ehrenberg, Doug Katz and Kevin Grogan, did not serve the best interests of the community but simply wanted to force Keller-Cogan out.  She suggested that DeGaetano should not run for re-election and Ehrenberg resign from the board since she said their objective was achieved.  She said Katz and Grogan could celebrate their victory.   

“Do not think for a moment that the majority four had your children’s education at heart,” read Hoeneveld.  “They were too busy plotting how to get rid of Keller-Cogan. They were consumed with this goal.”  

Ehrenberg disputed the allegations.

“I’ve spend years volunteering and caring for the children of this school district. I’ve not come in to hurt anybody and I think people understand that,” Ehrenberg said.

Katz did not respond to the criticisms but urged the board members to focus on their responsibilities as trustees.

“I think we should all concentrate on the kids,” he said.  “That’s what we were all elected for.”


The Real Mary Smith March 20, 2012 at 02:13 AM
@yehbut. You crack me up. You say "let it go already". but you still want to keep it going to posting "for the record". So Yehbut, for the record, Donna Ehrenberg DID break BOE policy and spoke about a staff member, which she had NO BUSINESS doing! We can move forward when Donna Ehrenberg takes RESPONSIBILITY for what she did and RESIGNS! Disappointed in Joe and Diane for wanting to bring the truth to the community, interesting. No one wants to fight Yehbut, people want ACCOUNTABILITY. Shame on YOU for not wanting the same
Yehbut March 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Mary, I'm with you asking for everyone's resignation. I've been saying for some time now that the only solution to this caustic environment is to start fresh with all new board members.
Joanie Taylor March 20, 2012 at 04:29 PM
You know what kids? Truth of the matter is Doug does not know what it means to be a Board President. He forgot the part about being one of seven. He cannot act alone, he needs to share all information with all the board members at the same time, in a timely fashion. He should not be responding in a vacuum to anyone without passing it by the board for input and approval to send. He was wrong. Period. Doug has trouble running a meeting and bales out by saying lets focus on the kids. If you watch the end of almost every board meeting tape, Donna calls someone pretty much a liar or says all the information was wrong attributed to her. She can't always be the poor victim. What was sad was that she went on that rant stating that her daughter had a breakdown, and her daughter was in the front row. Donna has made mistakes, she needs to own up to them for ONCE! (caps intended because I was yelling!) It is all sad. I wish they had expended this much time, energy and money on the kids. When is the last time you heard them fighting FOR something for the kids? Anyone? Anyone?
Patrick Sarsfield March 20, 2012 at 06:00 PM
These videos are hard to watch. I feel badly for Mrs. Ehrenberg but the fact remains that she did violate Board policy and that fact was confirmed by the recent investigation. Whatever her motivations were she violated the policy. I understand that she feels that she is the victim, that is plain by looking at the pain on her face. But, Mrs. Ehrenberg no matter how much you feel victimized in my opinion what you did by bringing your daughter, a truely innocent party, into this discussion was beyond the pale.
Tony T March 23, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Good bye Keller-Coogan you will be someone elses headache now.....3 school Districts in 6 years on the basis of that alone I must disagree with Diane Hoeneveld's statement.


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