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Music teacher subject of tenure controversy

CHESTERTOWN A popular music teacher at North Warren has been denied tenure and many parents and students are not happy.

At a recent school board meeting, many of them came to present the board with a petition with over 200 signatures, protesting Gary Mures denial of tenure.

We first heard about this in March, said Kristen Paris, one of the parents. Hes done a fabulous job with the kids and has put on great concerts. The kids enjoy band and his natural enthusiasm.

Paris said that there were no answers at the recent board meeting, leaving parents angry and frustrated.

We want to know why, Paris said. We dont think a really good teacher should be denied tenure.

School Superintendent Joseph Murphy said the final determination on Mures tenure was made at the March school board meeting.

We went through the normal negotiating procedure with the teachers association, Murphy said. Theres a long process of evaluation, discussion and correction for every teacher, we cant just throw him out.

Murphy said he couldnt divulge specific reasons for denying Mures tenure since it was a personnel issue.

Every teacher is evaluated each year, even if they have tenure, he said. Its their annual performance review. I dont think anything can change now.

Mure said that the decision appeared to be a foregone conclusion.

This is my second year at North Warren but my 14th year teaching, he said. I was tenured in New York City and Hempstead, and after Sept. 11, I wanted to come to the Adirondacks for some peace.

He worked for the Indian Lake School District before coming to North Warren.

I was so happy when I got this job, Mure said. Its such a nice school with such great kids.

Lisa Jensen has two children who attend North Warren, one of which is in the band.

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