A New Addition, Renovations and Now a New Principal
February 12, 2016
by Len Lathrop
Dr. Dorothy Mohr is leaving the high school at the end of this school year.
A parent submitted the following letter in the middle of last week; his name was withheld at his request:
To the Pelham Community and surrounding communities:
I feel it is necessary that I share this critical information with all of you even though it has not yet become public knowledge. As many of us know living in a small community like Pelham, when information is shared in the education world to a small group of people, that information many times is spread like wildfire, especially when the information being shared is as unexplained and ridiculous as this is.
I am a parent of 3 children of the Pelham schools. My wife and I pride ourselves in actively being involved in our children’s education and have nothing but positive things to say about the Pelham schools, up to now.
Here in lies the most absurd travesty of injustice I have ever heard in my 25 years of living here in Pelham and I know I am not alone. Dr. Dorothy Mohr, is currently in her 13th year as Principal of Pelham High School, before that she served as the Assistant Principal for 3 years, but started her career at PHS teaching English for 15 years. There is no doubt that Dr. Dorothy Mohr has made a positive impact on our children and community over the 30 years she has served as an educator and a leader in the PSD. So what is the issue and reason for my letter? Dr. Dorothy Mohr is being “pushed” out of her position as Principal of Pelham High School. She is being 100% forced to resign at the end of this school year. Please tell us Superintendent Lacaroz, on what grounds?
Now I ask you Pelham citizens, what has this woman done who has been so loyal and faithful to be told her contract will not be renewed? From its fruition, Dr. Mohr has been an integral part of the 20 million dollar addition that has positively impacted our children and our community. And can someone please explain Superintendent Lacaroz’s rational on hiring a new Assistant Principal with no administrative experience at the start of this past school year, and then 10 months later letting go of the Principal of the building with 30+ years experience?
My children are not perfect, but when my wife and I have had to have discussions with the Administration over the years at Pelham High, every conversation with Dr. Mohr has been dealt with compassion and professionalism. Dr. Mohr is one of the most intelligent and insightful leaders I have ever had the pleasure to deal with.
Superintendent Lacaroz, you make changes all the time for what you believe is in the best interest for our children, your students. We, the Pelham Community deserve an explanation as to why Dr. Dorothy Mohr, a pillar of strength and role model for so many in our school system and our community, is being asked to resign long before many Pelham families wish to see her leave us and our children. Please reconsider your irrational and unexplained decision. After over 30 years, Dr. Dorothy Mohr should be treated with the respect she deserves and continue to educate and lead our children until she is ready to go.
A very upset and disheartened family
The PWN reached out to Superintendent of Schools Amanda Lacaroz and all school board members via e-mail with the question:
“The Pelham~Windham News has received information that the Pelham High Principal, Dr. Dorothy Mohr, of many years will not have her contract renewed for next year.
Will you confirm or deny that and do you have a comment about the situation?”
Superintendent Lecaroz replied by the end of the day; her e-mail follows. There has been no response from any of the school board members.
Thank you for checking as that is not accurate. Through the leadership of Dr. Mohr, Pelham High School has seen many changes over the last two decades, dramatic changes such as competency based education and the development of Pathways for student learning. As we usher in the next phase of change: a new facility, 1:1 technology for students, and personalized learning, the next ten years will bring about a redefinition of Pelham High School. As we embark on this journey, having a leadership team that will be able to see this next phase all the way through to fruition is critical. To that end, Dr. Mohr has decided to move on to other opportunities and allow the next group of leaders to guide Pelham High School through the next phase of development. She will be leaving the Pelham School District on June 30, 2016 and we wish her well in her future endeavors.
Dr. Mohr spoke to the paper on Tuesday at which time she confirmed that she would be submitting her resignation to the school board shortly and, if it is accepted by them, would finish her tenure at Pelham High School at the end of June this year. She explained that this seemed to be the best option for her as we spoke about the high school and its transition from a factory to a school and soon a state-of-the-art facility. Did you know that Pelham High School has a less than 1 percent dropout rate, and most students leave there going into the future prepared?