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McKay Resigns as Chappaqua Schools Superintendent

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Chappaqua Schools Superintendent Lyn McKay

Chappaqua Schools Superintendent Lyn McKay resigned Monday morning following months of criticism over the district’s handling of the sex abuse case of former high school drama teacher Christopher Schraufnagel.

Over the past year we have been experiencing the aftermath of the arrest of a former Greeley theater teacher,” McKay said in her letter of resignation, in which she announced that she is retiring. These times have been difficult for our students, community, staff, and Board of Education.  This horrendous situation is one a district and community should never have to go through.

The Board of Education plans to vote on an amendment to her contract at its Nov. 1 meeting. Eric Byrne, the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, will be appointed Acting Interim Superintendent until an interim superintendent is chosen. Later, a nationwide search for the next superintendent will begin. 

McKay, who has served in the position for five years, has come under increasing fire since allegations of Schraufnagel’s misconduct emerged. Schraufnagel, who is due in court again Nov. 10, faces criminal charges including one felony for allegedly abusing students at Horace Greeley High School. Last month, a judge rejected a plea deal that would have allowed Schraufnagel to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for the felony count being dropped. 

McKay and the district have come under intense criticism for a legal defense used in a civil case brought forward by several of Schraufnagel’s alleged victims. In court papers filed by the district, it claimed injuries suffered by students were “caused by or contributed to by reason of the carelessness, recklessness, negligence and/or assumption of the risk,” leading to charges that the district was blaming the victims for their abuse. In September, parents protested outside the high school calling for McKay’s resignation and at an October school board meeting police were called following arguments between parents and school board members.

In its statement announcing McKay’s resignation, the school board made no mention of Schraufnagel. 

We would like to thank Dr. McKay for her many years of service and dedication to our schools,” the board wrote. We thank her for her unwavering commitment to the students, our children, to the community, and to family.

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