"Hunger Games" Teacher Unexpectedly Fired, Escorted by Security Guards from New Rochelle High School

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LcutignolaNEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Lauren Cutignola, a 9th grade English teacher at New Rochelle High School, was escorted by school security out of the building this past Friday, sources say. The reason for her sudden dismissal was related to her interaction with students, these sources tell Talk of the Sound, although the precise nature of the issue was still not clear.

UPDATE: Talk of the Sound is told this is NOT a Marisa Anton situation. There are sketchy reports that the situation here revolves around a confidential discussion between the teacher and a student with the student later making a complaint to another school district employee that ultimately led to Cutignola's abrupt termination.

School district officials did not respond to emails seeking comment but Cutignola's web page on the New Rochelle High School site has since been removed from the site.

Cutignola was hired on January 1, 2008. She earned $62,966 for the 2011 Salary Year, according to FindtheData.org.

Cutignola was featured in a 2012 Journal News articlem 'Hunger Games' class trip pays tribute to New Rochelle students' work

This is an official class trip, organized by English teachers Mered Kopstein and Lauren Cutignola. More than 400 students are headed this morning to New Roc City’s theater, which closed several screenings to the public in order to accommodate the school. A second caravan of roughly 100 more freshmen will take in the film Monday, with a third group slated for a later date.

According to Cutignola's Facebook page, she came to work at New Rochelle High School after working at John Jay High School in Cross River, NY. She graduated from Binghamton University in 2005 with a degree in English Literature. She attended Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia.

Reviews on the Rate My Teachers web site were positive.

When you think perky blonde, think ms. C. she is awesome and is very into her line of work she loves helping out. Is very involved, has a great grading system. She is very nice, and welcomes students.

.

A review of New Rochelle Board of Education resolutions shows the following:

SUPERINTENDENT'S INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL RESOLUTION NO. 13-68 (CONT.) 08/07/2012
RESOLUTION No. 13-68-3
INTERIM APPOINTMENTS - TEACHERS

Cutignola, Lauren, Certification Area, English, assigned to New Rochelle High School, Salary Schedule 4, Step 4, $69,366, effective September I, 2012 to June 30, 2013, replacing Erica Vinelli, on leave of absence.

RESOLUTION No. 13-68-10
SUMMER SCHOOL 2012 - NEW ROCHELLE HIGH SCHOOL
STAFF MEMBER AUTHORIZATION
RESOLVED, that Resolution 13-45-25 dated July 2, 2012 be amended to include the pedagogic staff member listed below to work in the Summer School Program at New Rochelle High School during the summer months of the 2012-2013 school year, number of hours listed below, to be paid at the hourly rate of $45.25:

NAME SUBJECT NO. OF HOURS
Cutignola, Lauren Regents Proctor 20

Academic Intervention Services
New Rochelle High School
2011-2012
The NRHS Academic Intervention Services program provides support services through additional instruction which supplements the curriculum. This after school program utilizes teachers from our core curriculum departments to ensure quality of instruction and curricular relevance. Services are available as follows:
English
English Tues Weds 3:15 - 4:30 Rm 135 Ms. Cutignola
English (E.S.L.) Tues Thurs 3:15 - 4:30 Rm 334 Mr. Garcia
English (Sp. Ed.) Mon Weds 3:15 - 4:30 Rm 113 Ms.Trapp

SUPERINTENDENT'S INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL RESOLUTION NO. 12-347 (CONT.) 06/26/2012
RESOLUTION No. 12-347-12 (Continued)
CO-CURRICULAR CLUBS/ACTIVITIES - NEW ROCHELLE HIGH SCHOOL
STAFF MEMBER AUTHOlUZATION
NAME CLUB/ACTIVITY STIPEND

Cutignola, Lauren Junior Statesmen of America 1,531

SUPERINTENDENT'S INSTRUCTIONAL PERSONNEL RESOLUTION NO. 12-347 (CONT.) 06/26/2012
RESOLUTION No. 12-347-16
NEW ROCHELLE CHAPTER OF THE JUNIOR STATESMEN OF AMERICA
STAFF MEMBER AUTHORIZATION
RESOLVED, that the pedagogic staff members listed below be authorized and approved to accompany the New Rochelle Chapter of the Junior Statesmen of America to their overnight events, to be paid at the rate listed below:

Fall State, Boston, MA -
2 days and 1 overnight (November 12 & 13,2011) Stipend
Cutignola, Lauren $200
Minchin, Deborah $200

Winter Congress, Washington DC-
3 days/2 overnights (Feb. 3,4, & 5, 2012)
Cutignola. Lauren $200
Kopstein, Mered $200

Spring State, Stamford, CT -
2 days/. overnight (APril 21 & 22, 2012)
Cutignola, Lauren $100
Minchin, Deborah $100

RESOLUTION No. 12-347-19
RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION (RTI)
(Safe Schools.Healthy Students F2110 150 11 1213)
RESOLVED, that the pedagogic staff members listed below be authorized and approved to work on the Response to Intervention (RTI) Project, Transitioning 9th grade Smaller Learning Community Teams and 10th_12th grade Pupil Personnel Teams into Response to Intervention Problem Solving Teams June 26 and 27, 2012, not to exceed 10 hours each, to be paid at the hourly rate of $44.32:

NAME
Cutignola, Lauren

5-1-2012

*RESOLUTION No. 12-303-28
SMALLER LEARNING COMMUNITIES TEAM LEADERS
STAFF MEMBER AUTHORIZATION - NEW ROCHELLE HIGH SCHOOL
RESOLVED, that the pedagogic staffmembers listed below be authorized and approved to be Smaller Leaming Communities Team Leaders at New Rochelle High School during the 2011-2012 school year, to be paid a stipend of $500 each:

NAME
Cutignola, Lauren

And, be it further
RESOLVED, that this resolution shall take effect immediately.
* ADDITION

2-7-12

RESOLUTION No. 12-214-35
ACADEMIC INTERVENTION SERVICES - DISTRICT-WIDE
STAFF MEMBER AUTHORIZATION

RESOLVED, that the pedagogic staff members listed below be authorized and approved to provide Academic Intervention Services during the 2011-2012 school year, not to exceed 40 hours each, to be paid at the hourly rate of$44.32:

NAME:
Cutigno!a, Lauren

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Bob McCaffrey on Thu, 01/31/2013 - 14:24

The other night I attended and spoke at The New Rochelle Board of Education Meeting at William B. Ward Elementary School. It was a packed house when I got there to my surprise. Unfortunately, I am not able to attend these meetings, but things worked out in my favor the other night. After the start of the meeting there was a wonderful performance by the Ward School first graders. It reminded me of a few years back when my daughter was in those type of performances at Ward. When they finished, there was a short break to allow the parent’s and friends of the children to leave and the meeting to continue. Wow! What a transformation, the place became a ghost town of several people left behind. You could hear the echoes.

What I found was that just like the New Rochelle Citizens to be Heard, people speak with no answers. Only when the message is controlled and shows a positive spin for the board is there a response. Same tactics of let them speak and give no answers, maybe they will go away. The only difference is that you get five minutes to speak rather than three.

I find it ironic because I mentioned some problems from this past year and made other comments;

-Teacher Taken Out of Ward School on a Stretcher after Hysterical Outburst at City Hall.
-High School Librarian Arrested in Sex Sting.
-Schools Employee charged with Assault 2nd Degree.
-Schools Employee Arrested, Vicious Assault Leaves Man and Woman Seriously Injured.
-Schools Electrician Pleads Guilty to Sex Charge.
-Worker fired from his position as a Motor Equipment Operator Replaced by another employee convicted of identical drunk driving charge fills his position.
-Who knows what else?

Well I spoke to soon, now a 9th grade English teacher at New Rochelle High School was escorted by school security out of the building this past Friday. Enough already.

I went on to ask, who are the people responsible for the poor hiring practices that result in people with such backgrounds to be hired in the first place? Is it The Board of Ed, The City Council, City Management, City Staff, Civil Service Commission, Human Resources, and Department Heads? Who? With the hiring of friends, family and Political contributors, who calls the shots when a position is filled or created? They are trying to study the demographics of the staff. When friend hire friend, things never change.

As part of our continuing effort to evaluate and improve the safety of our schools, The New Rochelle Board of Education has hired Vigilant Resources International (VRI). Board members, you have to have an effort and evaluations before you can look to improve them!

Having an outside consultant do a full review is a good idea. We have the people and departments that should already be doing exactly that at least once a year bare minimum. By law these policies and procedures should be in place. The outside consultant must not stop at the schools, follow the chain of command and determine the root of the problem. The problem starts at the top and works its way down to school level. Like our city government there is no accountability. Holding these people accountable is the only way to get action rather than inaction!

When I look, I find that we have a School Security Director Bruce Daniele and that is all I can find. Who is handling the Fire and Safety for the district? Bruce Daniele is not the only person responsible for all the fire and safety needs in our schools and the Board of Education offices at City Hall. I know the appointed committees exist but to date have been inactive. Too much is being missed.

- Who is handling our safety concerns because they are failing?
-Emergency Contact Forms are sent home several times each year.
-I was told that barely 50% are returned? Why?
-Non-resident student controls?
-Begs the question as to why the ECF’s are not turned in.
-If they are not turned in by the last day of the marking period, no report cards.
-What happens if there is an emergency?
-What happens to the children whose families don’t show up in an emergency?
-How can there be an accurate accounting to make sure no child is left behind?

For all that is being missed or not shared with the public, I think having an outside consultant do a full review is a good idea. So long as they remain independent. However, again I mention that we already have the people and departments that should be doing the safety evaluations and updates at least once a year bare minimum. Fire and safety codes require it be done by law.

With these short comings is also the waste of taxpayer dollars on all levels. Before raising our taxes anymore a review of all positions and responsibilities must be done from the top down in both areas, The Board of Education and New Rochelle City Hall. I was once a safety coordinator for a large facility and several others. I for one would like to know what the chain of responsibility for safety is starting from the top down to the schools, list the name and responsibilities for more accountability. One man is not the only person responsible for all our schools and the Board of Education offices at City Hall.

Holding the Board of Education, The City of New Rochelle and their staff accountable is the only way to get action and prevent these types of short comings. A child’s or staff members life may depend on it.

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