The New Hartford Central School Board announced at a special board of education meeting on Tuesday that Superintendent of Schools Robert Nole has resigned effective April 1st. The board voted to accept the resignation by a vote of 6-1.

The vote came after a brief executive session in which the board discussed the measure in private. A previous resolution, also detailed in executive session, referenced a proposed agreement between the board and the Superintendent of Schools. The measure included directions for the Board President to execute the said agreement. That resolution passed by a vote of 6-1. Details of the agreement between Nole and the board have not been made public.

The resignation comes in the midst of a controversy over COVID-19 restrictions and closures over the last year with several parents calling for students to return to in-class instruction immediately. There's been specific criticism from the fall when there seemed to be several changes in the school schedule between hybrid, remote and in-person.

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Nole came under fire during a recent board meeting when some parents demanded in-person instruction. At that meeting on February 9th, the Board of Education required that Nole consult the BOE before any future closure decisions, including in-person, hybrid, or remote learning. New Hartford had been fully from Thanksgiving through February 22nd, decision that was reportedly made without board consent.

Nole became Superintendent of New Hartford back in 2008 by unanimous vote of the board, replacing previous Superintendent Daniel Gilligan, who retired. Nole's contract was extended at least three times during his tenure, including in the spring of 2020. He was not in attendance at Tuesday night's board meeting.

The board will begin the process of replacing Nole immediately, They will work with BOCES to appoint an interim Superintendent.

Statement from BOE:

The New Hartford Central School District Board of Education has formally accepted the resignation of Robert J. Nole from the position of District Superintendent, effective April 1st, 2021.

Mr. Nole has served the district for over 17 years. In that time, the New Hartford School District has received numerous awards and accolades. The Board wishes Mr. Nole well in his future endeavors.

The Board will begin the process of seeking a new superintendent immediately, engaging the New Hartford school community in the planning and selection of new leadership.

The Board of Education will be working closely with our current district leadership and BOCES to appoint an Interim Superintendent who will oversee the district until a permanent replacement can be found.

The current school year has been the most challenging in recent memory. The board is focused on moving the district forward, immediately and over the long-term. Our number one priority is the well-being and education of our students. Progress can only be achieved through cooperation and collaboration with administration, teachers, staff, and parents.

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