2010-09-24 / Front Page

PS 43 Principal Dumped

Case Pending DOE Investigation
By Howard Schwach

A longtime Far Rockaway elementary/middle school principal was unceremoniously walked from his school on Monday afternoon, after being suspended from his position by the Department of Education.

 School principal John Quattrocchi (far right) in a 2005 file photo taken during a ribbon cutting for an early childhood center at PS/MS 43. With Quattrocchi in the photo are District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bay, Regent Dr. Geraldine Chapey and developer Ron Hershco, who donated the center. School principal John Quattrocchi (far right) in a 2005 file photo taken during a ribbon cutting for an early childhood center at PS/MS 43. With Quattrocchi in the photo are District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bay, Regent Dr. Geraldine Chapey and developer Ron Hershco, who donated the center. Principal John Quattrocchi, who has been the principal of PS 43 for more than 20 years, was escorted out of the building by school security agents and reassigned to the district office in Ozone Park.

“We have removed the principal from the building pending an investigation and placed a new acting principal in the building,” said Margie Feinberg, a spokesperson for the DOE.

Feinberg declined to talk about the nature of the investigation, citing confidentiality issues when discussing school personnel, but school experts told The Wave that the immediate placement of a new administrator in the building rather than placing one of the school’s assistant principals in the acting role, generally means that the situation is a serious one and that the investigation will be long-term.

A former staffer said that the principal had a visit from a vice president of the Council of Supervisory Authorities (CSA), the principal’s union, the day prior to his suspension.

Sources at the school, who declined to be identified for fear of retribution, said that District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bay came to the building for an after-school meeting and told the staff about Quattrocchi’s suspension, telling them that his removal was due to “an emergency.”

Contacted by The Wave, Lloyd-Bay referred all questions about the suspension to the Department of Education.

Quattrocchi was not available for comment.

The new school principal, Gary Fairweather, was most recently an assistant principal in the Bronx, DOE sources said.

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