CROSS RIVER, N.Y. -- Several John Jay High School students, along with parents of alumni, spoke at the Katonah-Lewisboro school board’s Tuesday night meeting, July 8, in opposition to the transfer of Assistant Principal Lisa Kor to John Jay Middle School.
Several student speakers praised Kor for her involvement with the school’s Model UN. For example, Anthony Andrew Mamo credited her help for its winning 15 awards. Grant Goldman recalled pitching her an event, alluding to the John Jay Model United Nations Conference (JJMUNC), which will be held at the school in November.
Jeffrey Steckler, president of the Model UN and student council historian, called Kor a “vital piece” and advocated for her to stay at the high school. Steckler also mentioned a petition, which had more than 300 signatures, in favor of retaining Kor at the high school.
Hannah Seidlitz described the “very personal connection” she had with her as a role model. Seidlitz, who lost her mother, noted the tragedy that she experienced and that she struggled getting to class. She credited Kor with encouraging her and called her a maternal presence.
The adults who spoke did so with passion in their remarks.
Tracy Fulop brought up Kor’s ubiquitous presence at events.
“She's always there.”
Fulop also blasted the change, and, referencing the arrival of a new high school principal, contended that Kor could give help and support.
Former school board member Donna Walsh, who served from 2000-07 and had stints as president and vice president, argued that what is needed at the high school is someone who knows and respects the students. She also referenced the turnover of officials that has taken place in the past, including an allusion of John Goetz’s switch from interim principal to interim superintendent of the school district.
“Please reconsider this decision,” said Susan Polos, an elementary school librarian and mother of two John Jay alumni. Standing with Polos was her daughter, Louisa, who graduated in 2004 and is now a middle school teacher. Polos also credited Kor for playing a part in the experiences that her children had at John Jay.
After comments about Kor, school board President Marjorie Schiff thanked community members for taking their time to come. However, she did not comment about Kor’s transfer because it is a personnel matter.