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Pound Ridge Elementary School Principal Gembka To Step Down

Timothy Gembka
Timothy Gembka Photo Credit: Bob Dumas

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Pound Ridge Elementary School Principal Timothy Gembka will be leaving his position, according to Bedford Schools Superintendent Jere Hochman, who announced the upcoming departure in a community email.

Community members reported to Daily Voice that they received Hochman's email, which was sent out on Friday afternoon. Hochman could not be reached for comment.

In the email, Hochman did not give a reason for Gembka's upcoming departure, which is effective for the 2015-16 school year.

"In order to begin a search process in a timely manner, I would like to let you know that Mr. Gembka will not be returning to Bedford Central School District for the 2015-2016 school year," Hochman wrote. "Mr. Gembka has navigated Pound Ridge through many academic changes and operational challenges facing our schools and Pound Ridge Elementary School these past few years and he has set the stage for continued progress in the future on many fronts."

Hochman also disclosed that an outside facilitator will help with the search for a replacement.

"In January, we will begin the search for the principal position working with an external search process facilitator, similar to the approach being used to select our new Director of Special Education," Hochman wrote. "The search facilitator will work with us to coordinate the development of the position profile with input from parents, staff, and students; design the screening process and timeline; and facilitate a screening committee comprised of administrators, teachers, staff, and parents. Ms. Gina Healy, Director of Human Resources, and I will be in contact with teacher and staff liaisons and the PTA leaders regarding communications and participation."

At school board meetings and in local media outlets, Pound Ridge community members have voiced frustration about the school's academic performance, including test scores. In those examples, Gembka was generally not mentioned by name.

Gembka was appointed as the school's principal in July 2012 after having served in the post on an interim basis, Daily Voice reported at the time.

Daily Voice also reported that Gembka's appointment included a 3-year probationary period that would end on June 30, 2015, which is the conclusion of the 2014-15 school year.

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