Lake Placid The long-running saga involving Lake Placid Central School District Superintendent Randy Richards and High School Principal Katherine Mulderig took another turn last week, when word broke that Mulderig went on an extended leave of absence beginning Monday, April 16.
Sources within the school system told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that Mulderig had accepted a settlement from the district and would not return to her job.
"Although it appears very hollow, the board still cannot comment or discuss the principal situation," said School Board President Phil Baumbach. "We understand there are a lot of questions, but we must remain confidential about the principal issue. We are working with all parties to come to a resolution that is best for those who are involved."
Baumbach explained the reason behind the board’s tight-lipped approach to the matter as an issue of, “policy mandates.”
"Obviously, everybody wants an explanation and I'm sure they get tired of, 'Well, we can't talk about it,' but that's the real situation,” he said. “Everybody wants to know more, but unfortunately we can't put it all out there and talk about it. We are only going by what policy mandates. These are personnel issues, and as such we cannot openly discuss them, because there's pending litigation."
Baumbach said he expects Richards to stay on the job through the end of his contract next spring.
Mulderig filed a gender discrimination complaint against Richards last year, and the Equal Opportunity Employment Coalition subsequently found that Richards engaged in both gender discrimination and retaliation against Mulderig, and created a hostile work environment for the principal.
At the School Board’s meeting March 20, about three dozen members of the public, including many teachers, observed the board as it conducted routine business. At the board’s previous meeting, former Middle/High School Principal Robert Schiller handed the board a petition bearing more than 500 signatures demanding Richards’ removal.
Assistant Principal Dan Mayberry, a Lake Placid native, has been promoted to Acting Middle/High School Principal.