Wantagh Superintendent Exits District

Wantagh school board appoints Forest Lake Elementary School Principal Maureen Goldberg as acting superintendent after approving leave of Phil D. D'Angelo Jr. from position.

Just over two months after beginning his term as Wantagh Superintendent of Schools, Phil D. D'Angelo Jr. has departed the district. 

Wantagh district officials announced early Wednsday evening that the school board has approved the leave of D'Angelo from his superintendent position effective Sept. 14. The district also announced that Forest Lake Elementary School Principal Maureen Goldberg has assumed the responsibilities of acting Superintendent of Schools.

Wantagh Board of Education President Michael Cucci sent an email to district parents late Wednesday informing them of D'Angelo's exit but added that they could not provide specific details on the decision since it is a personnel matter. 

"Please be assured our number one priority continues to be the success of our students," said Cucci in the email to parents. "We are confident Mrs. Goldberg will execute the responsibilities of her new position with the highest level of professionalism and commitment." 


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The school board is planning to appoint an acting principal of Forest Lake Elementary School once a decision has been reached. 

Goldberg will be Wantagh's fifth superintendent in less than a year. Lydia Begley resigned as Wantagh superintendent on Sept. 26, 2011 to take a newly created administrative post, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"wantagh-superintendent-leaving-for-job-at-nassau-boces"} --> at Nassau BOCES and was replaced in an interim role by Dr. Richard Marsh before  five months into the job. Former longtime Wantagh Superintendent Carl Bonuso was then by the school board with

Zoe September 22, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Mrs Goldberg does not have the experience and the people skills to do the job. Ok, lets say she does do a great job. Now she retires in a few years at the 226k salary then we the people are paying this person a larger retirement pay only for the two years at this position. Then it starts over again with someone else.
Chris Wendt September 22, 2012 at 02:38 AM
@ Andrew--You deleted a post of mine from the other thread about the string of superintendents at Wantagh. I had posted information taken directly from the minutes of last Friday's Board of Education meeting, right off the District website, which directly contradicted the version reported in this article concerning the status of Phil D'Angelo. Fortunately, I copied and saved those minutes to my hard drive. Andrew, if the Patch standard is no information without evidence, then please ask Mr. Cucci to produce evidence of the status he reported to you for Phil D'Angelo. I would not consider a self-serving email from Mr. Cucci to constitute evidence. Ask him to produce the minutes of the September 14th meeting of the Board of Education.
Robert Allen September 22, 2012 at 08:15 AM
Of course her post was not deleted. I will ask again, is there a connection you have with Lorriane? The reason I ask is because you delete any post where a person makes personal attacks. Lorriane does this daily and her posts do not get deleted. Look back to a post on this thread where she calls a person "clueless". Why was that one not deleted?
Marilyn September 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Zoe September 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Marilyn, thats how they take care of each other. If you know someone is going to retire in lets say two years. They give this person a big position making more money so when they retire they get the giant retirement pay and we pay. You think this is bad look at the salaries.
Lorraine DeVita September 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM
The Wantagh community should ask NYSSBA and the NYSED to find out what is going on and what ISNT going on and with your Board. Especially in light of the 'MEL" incident, the MULTIPLE revolving Superintendents , and the "approved" LEAVE of your 2 1/2 month 226k Superintendent and recent institution of a School principal as the interim Superintendent./salary unknown Perhaps your board members are CONFUSED or perhaps they need a "boot camp" type refresher course on their job functions/ responsibilties.
Mike P September 22, 2012 at 03:07 PM
That is exactly correct. However, it is not so much the salaries but the benefits and retirement packages. If a teacher or administrator retires at age 55 after working 30 years, they will collect their pension and full medical benefits until they die. If the average life expectancy is almost 80 years, that is at least 25 years of benefits which equals millions of dollars guaranteed. The number of retirees grows each year and life expectancy increases constantly. Multiply that by all the teachers and administrators and you will find out why we are paying gigantic school taxes. I just wonder if anyone, including the school board has hired an actuary to calculate what taxes will have to be in a few years to support this infrastructure. I wonder how families that have both parents working just to pay taxes will feel about paying $20,000 a year in property tax on a $450,000 home.
John September 22, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Dz, I agree. How are we Backing up the claim that the district is doing well. Are we judging by the number of championships won in sports? Or are we going to focus on academics? There has been no push to adt the International Baccalureate program, a program that Rockville Centre used to change the culture of their schools. We seem to be content as a community to allow the status quo, while we continue to be a middle of the road or slightly better than average school district. I would like to see someone come in with an innovative instructional program. Instead, I receive letters from Wantagh Elementary School complaining about Appr and the common core, while my kids come home with countless dittos of test preparation. Is anyone out there fed up?
They're back September 23, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Since most people outside of the Syracuse area do not know the names of the small towns around here, CNYers often describe themselves as being from the Syracuse area. Skaneateles is a lake community that is about 20 minutes from Syracuse. D'Angelo was from the Skaneateles district not Syracuse. So, if you want to make comparisons, you should compare Wantagh to Skaneateles not Syracuse. And, when you do, you will find that Skaneateles but not Wantagh was named a Gold Medal school by US News. Scores are consistently higher than state averages-often by a huge margin.
They're back September 23, 2012 at 12:24 AM
To Lorraine DeVita-How do I have all of Wantagh buzzing? Your school district's activities were reported in the Syracuse newspaper. My comments were nothing more than rewording what has been reported and what is blatantly obvious. More aptly-what your community is doing has Syracuse buzzing.
They're back September 23, 2012 at 12:29 AM
My questions are not intended as personal attacks and I do not know anybody nor am I accusing anyone of anything. I am asking about what could be going on that would cause a string of people to leave a position. It is troubling.
Tom Jones September 23, 2012 at 01:13 AM
I wonder why skaneateles school board voted to give D'angelo about $3,000 in retroactive pay the same meeting they accepted his resignation. Sounds like we (Wantagh) were sold a "pig in a poke". Pretty shrewd school board Skaneateles. See part of Syracuse news article below: "Skaneateles, NY -- Skaneateles school board members Tuesday night agreed to give Superintendent Philip D. D’Angelo Jr. a retroactive 1.5 percent raise at the same meeting they accepted his letter of resignation. The board voted 7-0 to increase D’Angelo’s salary from $179,417 to $182,108, retroactive July 1. The superintendent had been receiving the same pay as he had in the 2010-11 school year. The board made the decision not to adjust any salaries until they had settled contracts with the teachers, administrators and support staff unions, said Dale Bates, assistant superintendent for business and finance. The contract negotiations began in the spring of 2011, he said. The teachers’ union contract was settled in February, followed by the support staff’s contract and then administrators’ contract in April. All three groups now have three-year contracts, and they all received 1.5 percent increase in each year of the contract, Bates said. The board also voted unanimously to accept D’Angelo’s resignation, effective June 30"
Chris Wendt September 23, 2012 at 01:30 AM
This is a vital conversation. However, it is competing for space, time, and attention with the Presidential election, and local politics. The election is not all that far off, and I would rather table this discussion until after the election recap, when it can get the kind of focus, thought and participation it deserves.
Lorraine DeVita September 23, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Whoa Cowboy you are barking up the wrong tree- Read My posts I supported your right to post info- I just questioned and countered your badmouthing a community that right now was left in the dark and upset with yet another SUP taking the drive AWAY from their SD> and i rightly pointed out regardless of the revolving door their Scores STILL kicked butt. THe board is messed up they are realiizing that - however education has not been compromised because the core of community will not allow it. Apparently Wantagh is successful Because of its students and theirs teachers NOT the leadership or the obvious of lack thereof. THAT was my point.
Lorraine DeVita September 23, 2012 at 01:42 AM
not only is it troubling it is going to be COSTLY --
Lorraine DeVita September 23, 2012 at 01:51 AM
@ Tom Jones. either you have no clue or you are desparately trying to mislead people- LEGALLY whether the man was leaving or not The board HAD to give him his retro raise .. How is that implying you got a "in poke is that" ? Seems THEY did their due dilligence and follwed the letter of the LAW something YOUR board hasnt a clue about which in the longrun YOU will realize their lack of ability/competency is going to COST the Wantagh taxpayers a wholeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee lot of money ...I am not assuming, I am stating fact. Your Board by their actions has set up your district for quite a few law suits.which btw violates their fiduciary responsibilty and is CAUSE for dismissal, ALL of them . GO check that little "bon moit" out and get back to me will ya..
Lorraine DeVita September 23, 2012 at 02:21 AM
@ Mike P.- Its my admittedly sexist opinion a WOMAN can do most anything BETTER then a MAN.
jon September 24, 2012 at 03:41 AM
1 No. 118 The People &c., Respondent, v. Philip D'Angelo, Appellant. 2002 NY Int. 108 October 10, 2002 Is this our superintendent? MEMORANDUM: The order of the Appellate Division should be affirmed. A temporary order of protection prohibited defendant from making contact with specified persons who had complained that he was harassing them. Despite the order, defendant left a series of threatening messages on the voicemail of one of those persons. Defendant was then indicted on one count of criminal contempt, first degree (Penal Law § 215.51[b][iv]) and four counts of criminal contempt, second degree (Penal Law § 215.50[3]). Each of the second degree counts recited that "defendant, in the County of New York * * * did intentionally disobey the lawful process and other mandate of a court, to wit, an order of protection" on the date of one of the menacing calls, and each of these counts stated that defendant's conduct violated Penal Law section 215.50(3). Defendant did not challenge the sufficiency of the indictment, and was eventually convicted, after a jury trial, on all five counts. On appeal, he argued for the first time that the indictment was jurisdictionally defective because the criminal contempt, second degree counts lack factual recitals corresponding to the final clause in Penal Law section 215.50(3) -- they fail to state
Chris Wendt September 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM
You probably should have researched the answer to your question before posting this. This seems to be a case from the County of New York, which is Manhattan, which means it may have been a different Philip D'Angelo. Mr. D'Angelo was supposedly vetted to the nth-degree, and I would like to believe that if this was indeed about him, then it would have been discovered during the search and vetting process. This could be very prejudicial, and if not true, then also very unnecessarily hurtful.
Lorraine DeVita September 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Odd the only way some people know to how to disperse rumors is by creating NEW rumors, some of which can come back to bite them via a defamation law suit if proven to be thrown out there with no due dilligence ..TRANSPARENCY is something you all should be seeking . Tread carefully especially if you are grasping at straws to make a point - What people dont seem to understand is that speculation, rumors and assumptions while fodder for the gready gossip mill, can be as harmful to a community if not more so then truth itself. Again I urge all of you to seek outside intervention from both the NYSED and NYSSBA to help your district move forward for the sake of your students and quite honestly the reputation of your community.
Tom Jones September 25, 2012 at 01:44 AM
@Lorraine DeVita Why would a School Board have to vote to give someone who was leaving a $3,000 raise, retroactively? Sounds like they motivated him to take the Wantagh job. Why else, if you know would they vote retroactive pay for someone leaving? Plus if this was as simple as a scapegoat for the Mel decision, they wouldn't hire an investigator. I do not know Mr. D'Angelo except observing him at the September Board meeting. I was not impressed by the actions of the VP and Pres. of the board. Maybe they are the whole problem
Brian Peters September 25, 2012 at 07:31 AM
Based on history, the entire school board needs to be dumped, and replaced. It seems that Mr D'Angelo is a strong and experienced administrator. Looks like the board wanted a puppet and not a leader. You are wasting tax-payer dollars and you should be ashamed of yourselves. GROW UP!
DZ September 25, 2012 at 02:15 PM
John, Good to hear it from someone with kids in school. My kids will start in a few years but I may not stick around here to have them begin in what I see as a mess so far. Also, athletics and academics can both be priorities and a school can excel at both, just look at garden city, one of the best districts on long island if not the country in both academics and athletics. Of course there are a lot of factors that influence that outcome. But recently I asked someone locally what they think about the way that these publications rank high schools ( Newsweek, us news, Washington post ) and they told me that these publications only sell papers and that's all. Of course Wantagh is nowhere to be found in any of them. If you go to garden city's high school website and look at the letter that the superintendent wrote about these rankings, they explain each and every methodology for each publication and explain how they are very proud of garden city being highly ranked locally and nationally. So as far as Wantagh goes , sounds like a lot of excuses. All I hear is complaints and excuses and that's why I won't be sticking around . I'm not going to risk sticking around while the district suffers under terrible leadership while people make excuses and Wantagh becomes a laughing stock and gets attention ( locally and regionally) for the wrong reasons.
Lorraine DeVita September 25, 2012 at 07:48 PM
@ TOmjones- CONTRACTUALY even is someone is leaving the Board was legally responsible to give "retroactive" pay which means they owed him the raise whether he stayed or not. - BTW 3k isnt much of an incentive to be gently PUSHED or even violently SHOVED out the door. Just wait to see how much its going to cost Wantagh to settle this disput with him now. You re looking at HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars . 5 years @ 227k plus ++ = around $1,135,000.00 ++. Now THATS a Pricey shove out the door dont you think?
Lorraine DeVita September 25, 2012 at 07:59 PM
As to the unfortunate events with Mr Mel Turner, do not be surprised if that wasnt predicated solely by the instigation of a lawsuit that his rights were violated as not only the Victim of harrasment and bullying and a jump to judgement by your board, but also his CIVIL RIGHTs as a handicapped individual. YOUR Board has opened the door for multiple lawsuits and fines you all will be paying for dearly for years to come. Add that to BOTH superintendents salaries (acting and "onleave") and your school taxes are going to go sky high or your reserves will be depleted to the point which will adversley effect your bond & credit rating.. Were does everyone think ALLLLLL this money is coming from? I presume it wasnt part of your 2012-2013 budget? So who is going to PAY for all this ? Your Board? And if there IS enough money in the budge then they built in one hell of PAD ... good luck!
Diane M September 26, 2012 at 02:26 PM
@Lorraine, if you have 11 minutes, watch this youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1DKxCV8tWg&feature=youtu.be The sequence of events went something like: - Super suspends Mel and calls in police (rumor has it in the meantime Super gets Mel a job at Iavronne) - BOE calls in Mel to terminate him (w/o an advocate for him or letting him explain) - BOE sends letter that fires Mel, bans him from school property and contacting BOE trustees - Community and media show up in force at BOE meeting. BOE allows Mel back on school grounds night that night while still fired. - The very next morning, in a BOE meeting, an employee is "suspended with pay" and that afternoon Mike Cucci announces something like super "takes a leave" - 2 different things.- with announcement of new interim supe - A week+ later the BOE then says Mel can come back pending mental heath eval
Lorraine DeVita September 27, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Diane - My only suggestion at this point is someone needs to do the following ASAP : CALL NYSED's Legal group CALL NYSSBA- CALL ACLU on Mels behalf CALL the EEOC on Mels behalf Establish a LEGAL fund for Mel - and perhaps confer with previous board members whom you respect and ask for their opinon and input. Also you might want to offer up support for Mr. D'Angelo whom it seems from what you stated did the proper thing by suspending Mel pending an investigation and calling the police. Which BTW is the CORRECT procedure insuring the school distirct as well as the employees rights were protected.
Ralebird September 27, 2012 at 07:22 AM
The financial terms of any agreement with the superintendent are a matter of public record as is a summary of the reasons for any deviation from the original contract. If the board is not forthcoming with this information it may be obtained by using a FOIL request. This cannot be simply hidden behind a claim of employee privacy. At this stage, nobody even knows if the departure (if that's what it is) was initiated by the board or D'Angelo.
Lorraine DeVita September 27, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Anyone remember the TV show "Get Smart" The reason i bring this up is because i am sitting here chuckling about School Boards in general as both Wantagh and Seaford have had their issues and it appears to me the Boards invoke the "cone of silence" isolating themselves whenever the people who elected them question or disagree with them. My visualization is: They press a button and It decends from the ceiling enveloping them,and all they hear is cartoon like sounds of WAA WAA WAA WA WAAAAA from the taxpayers as they proceed to do whatever they want. Pls note also that sometimes that cone envelopes the super also, as in the case of seaford, however in Wantagh your Sup was left outside scratching his saying what the Hell did i get myself into!
J October 10, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Did everyone get their school tax bills in yesterday's mail? What's going on? Our bill has increased by 10%! Maybe this should be listed in the Crimes Report section.


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