Cassadaga Valley superintendent resigns; board appoints interim

SINCLAIRVILLE – Scott Smith has resigned as Cassadaga Valley superintendent following questions about his “interactions with another district employee.”

The Board of Education accepted Smith’s resignation at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The superintendent’s resignation, coupled with an undisclosed agreement with high school Principal Dr. Tara DiDo-menico, has left the district’s leadership in flux.

The board late Tuesday night appointed an interim superintendent, effective immediately. Stepping into the position is Thomas Schmidt of Jamestown, former Sherman Central School Superintendent. He will be on the job today and his contract runs until June 30, 2014.

Nearly three hours after the board convened to enter executive session, members returned to the middle/high school’s multi-purpose room to move on a resolution to accept Smith’s resignation, which went into effect Monday. Following the unanimous approval of the resolution, a prepared statement, which also referenced the agreement with DiDomenico was read by board President Carl Perry.

“The Board of Education tonight approved and accepted the resignation of superintendent of schools Scott Smith, which followed the district’s consideration of circumstances that arose relating to Mr. Smith’s interactions with another district employee,” Perry said. “In addition, the board is currently considering appointing an interim superintendent of schools in order to provide transitional leadership as we look forward to performing a search for a new superintendent, and moving the district forward.

“The board also approved an agreement between the district and high school Principal Dr. Tara DiDomenico, the terms of which the board is not able to disclose at this time,” he continued. “During the course of its consideration of these matters, the Board of Education, at all times, was committed to taking whatever actions were necessary to protect the interests of the district – its students, staff and taxpayers – and the board consulted regularly with its legal counsel, as well as its BOCES district Superintendent, Dr. David O’Rourke.”

Other than to offer his approval, O’Rourke was unable to comment on the details behind the decision of the board.

“I have full confidence in the way that the Cassadaga Valley Board of Education has handled itself in this matter,” O’Rourke said.

Smith, who served as the district’s high school principal from 1993-97, signed a five-year contract in May 2011 at an annual salary of $131,500.

“It was not an easy decision (to leave Clymer),” Smith said at the time of his appointment. “I very much enjoyed my time at Cassadaga, and in the back of my mind wondered if I could return. This is a good opportunity and I look forward to serving our district for many years to come.”

DiDomenico was hired in July 2012 after serving as a principal at Orchard Park High School for four years prior. Her CVCS position was classified as a 12-month position, subject to a two-year probationary period, at an annual salary of $88,000.