Superintendent of East Ramapo School District resigns under pressure


On the heels of last week’s meeting with the state monitors, the East Ramapo school board called an emergency meeting Wednesday night.

After it opened, the board immediately went into executive session, emerging nearly 90 minutes later to announce Superintendent Joel Klein reached a separation agreement with the district, replaced by interim superintendent Dr. Deborah L. Wortham.

Klein’s resignation is effective October 31.

Wortham has been superintendent of Roosevelt Union Free School District since July 2013 and was previously Assistant Superintendent of Baltimore City Public Schools. She is the President and CEO of Wortham Educational Associates.

The Rockland County Times had called and emailed school board president Yehuda Weissmandl in anticipation of the announcement and has been unable to garner a quote from him.

NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said of the appointment of Dr. Deborah L. Wortham as Interim Supt. of East Ramapo School District:

“Tonight, the East Ramapo School District has taken a major step forward.  Dr. Deborah L. Wortham brings the right kind of experience and leadership the district needs. Dennis Walcott and the East Ramapo Monitoring Team have been working tirelessly to effect change and improvement in the district, and helping bring Dr. Wortham on board is evidence of the remarkable work the team has done so far.

“Dr. Wortham will be a strong voice for all the district’s students.  I look forward to working with her, Senator Carlucci, Assemblymembers Jaffee and Zebrowski, the monitors and the East Ramapo school board to restore stability in the district and ensure that all East Ramapo students students have the educational opportunities they need and deserve.”

Klein’s resignation takes effect October 31.

Senator Carlucci released the following statement upon news of Klein’s stepping down:

“Dr. Klein’s resignation will be a step towards easing tensions in East Ramapo. I look forward to working with Interim Superintendent Dr. Deborah Wortham to ensure that our children receive the best education possible.”