Rachlin era ends in Oysterponds

The Oysterponds school board voted 4-2 Wednesday night to end its relationship with Dr. Stuart Rachlin, who has served as the district’s superintendent for the past five years. Board members Linda Goldsmith and Krista De Kerillas voted against the measure.

Interim principal Joan Frisicano will serve as superintendent until a part-time interim superintendent is appointed.

Wednesday’s vote amends a buyout agreement that would have paid Dr. Rachlin $100,000 to end his contract in June 2011 rather than the following year. The board reduced the payment to $76,000.

The decision was made in recognition that the differences between the board and Dr. Rachlin wouldn’t be conducive to his continuing in Oysterponds, board president Deborah Dumont said.

“We are trying to get this school moving in a positive direction,” board member Krista De Kerillis added.

After agreeing to the buyout, the board learned that Dr. Rachlin had accepted a part-time position as superintendent in the Wainscott School District. The Oysterponds board then argued that the original buyout agreement included a provision requiring the superintendent to first gain district approval for any job he negotiated while still employed for Oysterponds.

On Jan. 18 the board voted 5-1 to withhold approval for Dr. Rachlin’s taking the Wainscott job, but he appeared in Wainscott to start work there the following day.

Dr. Rachlin’s contract with Wainscott pays him $48,000 a year pro-rated through June. Wainscott school board president Nancy McCaffrey said the district anticipates extending the contract for the following year. The part-time job offers no benefits.

Dr. Rachlin has received more than $30,000 from Oysterponds for unused vacation and sick time and he and his wife will receive full health insurance benefits for the rest of their lives.

He declined to comment on Wednesday’s board vote.