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Stamford Schools Look To Fire 3 Top Administrators Over Teacher Sex Scandal

Stamford School Superintendent Winifred Hamilton is looking to fire the top three administrators at Stamford High School.  Stamford School Superintendent Winifred Hamilton is looking to fire the top three administrators at Stamford High School.
Stamford School Superintendent Winifred Hamilton is looking to fire the top three administrators at Stamford High School. Photo Credit: File
Stamford High Principal Donna Valentine knew about a female teacher's sexual relationship with a male student and failed to report it. Stamford High Principal Donna Valentine knew about a female teacher's sexual relationship with a male student and failed to report it.
Stamford High Principal Donna Valentine knew about a female teacher's sexual relationship with a male student and failed to report it. Photo Credit: File
Stamford High Assistant Principal Roth Nordin knew about a female teacher's sexual relationship with a male student and failed to report it. Stamford High Assistant Principal Roth Nordin knew about a female teacher's sexual relationship with a male student and failed to report it.
Stamford High Assistant Principal Roth Nordin knew about a female teacher's sexual relationship with a male student and failed to report it. Photo Credit: File
Stamford High School English teacher Danielle Watkins is serving a five-year prison term for having a sexual relationship with one of her male students during the 2013-14 school year. Stamford High School English teacher Danielle Watkins is serving a five-year prison term for having a sexual relationship with one of her male students during the 2013-14 school year.
Stamford High School English teacher Danielle Watkins is serving a five-year prison term for having a sexual relationship with one of her male students during the 2013-14 school year. Photo Credit: File
Tony Pavia returned to Stamford High to serve as the interim principal during the fallout of the scandal. Tony Pavia returned to Stamford High to serve as the interim principal during the fallout of the scandal.
Tony Pavia returned to Stamford High to serve as the interim principal during the fallout of the scandal. Photo Credit: File

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The superintendent of the Stamford Public Schools is seeking to fire the top three administrators at Stamford High School after a teacher-sex scandal.

According to posts at the school district's website on Friday afternoon, Superintendent Winifred Hamilton is moving to fire Principal Donna Valentine as well as Vice Principals Roth Nordin and Angela Thomas Graves. 

"Based on my comprehensive review of the Pullman and Comley report, discussions with individuals named in the report, and advice from the district’s attorney, I have made my final disciplinary decision with regard to the report findings," Hamilton said on the website. "I assure you, each and every decision related to this incident has been made with safety of children and the best interest of the district in mind." 

Valentine and Nordin were arrested in October and charged with one misdemeanor count of failing to report to the state Department of Children and Families an allegation that Stamford High School English teacher Danielle Watkins had carried on a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old male student throughout the 2013-14 school year.

Valentine and Nordin were granted accelerated rehabilitation on Nov. 19, which will allow them to have no criminal record if they have no further legal problems. 

Watkins, a 32-year-old Norwalk resident who was arrested last July, was sentenced to five years in prison in March as part of a plea deal for having sex with the student and supplying him with marijuana.  

Graves received notification Friday of Hamilton's intent to move for her termination. She was placed on administrative leave as required by law effective immediately, Hamilton said.

"Because these decisions are now pending legal matters, and to ensure that each individual impacted has the right to fair and due process, I cannot discuss any details, nor will I, until they’ve run their legal course," Hamilton said. 

The district has already moved to terminate the contracts of Valentine and Nordin, who have been on leave since their arrests as the investigation continued.

Tony Pavia, who had been principal at Stamford High from 1996 to 2002, returned on an interim basis in Febrary. 

"I am working with Mr. Pavia to determine how best to fill Ms. Thomas-Graves’ role throughout the end of the year," Hamilton said. "And, as I’ve already shared, we are in the process of hiring a permanent principal for Stamford High School in order to focus on rebuilding the trust and confidence of our staff and families." 

In other disciplinary action announced Friday, she said: 

  • Stephen Falcone, executive director of human resources for Stamford Public Schools, has been suspended for one month.
  • Head of security Curtis Tinnin, security guard James Jordan and high school social worker James Cooney have received letters of warning

Also, Assistant superintendent Michael Fernandes has offered to resign, Hamilton said. 

She said she was "disappointed and outraged about the situation that occurred at Stamford High School and the resulting erosion of public trust caused by the alleged allegations of Stamford High School employees."

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