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'A Thunderbolt' – Arthur Norden Resigns From SW Board of Education

By Fred Stabbert III
LAKE HUNTINGTON — May 18, 2007 — In an unexpected move which sent shockwaves across one of the county’s largest school districts, Sullivan West Board President Arthur Norden tendered his resignation yesterday morning.
“A thunderbolt,” School Superintendent Alan Derry said yesterday morning describing the email he received. “Completely unexpected.”
Norden, who has headed the Sullivan West board since July of 2006, was first elected in May, 2002. His tenure on the board was marked as one of public watchdog, highlighted by battles with the State Ed. Dept. over its handling of the tri-school merger and funding for the subsequent building projects.
Derry said he expected the board of education to accept Norden’s resignation at last night’s meeting, which was held at the high school in Lake Huntington.
“It will be accepted tonight (Thursday),” Derry said.
The board, which will have three new members come July 1, can either appoint someone to fill Norden’s unexpired term (which ends on June 30, 2008) or schedule a special election.
“They have 90 days to appoint someone or set the election,” Derry said. “If not, District Superintendent Marty Handler would appoint someone.”
In either case, a new member for that seat would be elected in May, 2008 to a two-year term.
The short resignation e-mail gave no reason for Norden’s departure, simply stating that in accordance with public officers law, Arthur Norden hereby resigns his position as president and member of the Sullivan West Central School District effective immediately.
Derry said that acrimony among the board members was not easy for anyone to deal with and certainly took its toll on all involved.
“This is a unique time for the district,” he said. “We have our financial house in order and we are stronger academically.”

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