Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Ruth Quinn Berdell was officially dismissed from the school department last week.
Wellesley's former school business manager, who was officially let go last week, considers her dismissal wrongful and intends to fight back. According to a March 18 Boston.com article, former school business manager Ruth Quinn Berdell, who was put on paid administrative leave last year when it was made public that she would receive 32 weeks of unused vacation pay totaling $86,000, will challenge her dismissal in arbitration. Between July and March 13, the date she was dismissed, Berdell was paid $183,364 in comensation, according to Boston.com. The story says Berdell’s 2011-2012 academic year salary was $138,211, which she will not receive in full, the story says. Berdell has worked in the Wellesley school business office for over 25 years…
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Your weekly roundup of news and events.
The citizens of Wellesley went to the polls Tuesday to elect two incumbents and two newcomers to the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee, respectively. Terri Tsagaris retains a seat on the board and K.C. Kato will remain a School Committee member, both for a term of three years. Don McCauley will take the Board of Selectmen seat held by Owen Dugan for 17 years. Tere Ramos won a School Committee member position. Wellesley Police arrested several for driving infractions, published in this week’s police log. Ruth Quinn Berdell, formerly the business manager for Wellesley Schools, was officially let go this week, according to Superintendent Bella T. Wong. She was previously on administrative leave.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
School business manager Ruth Quinn Berdell had been on leave since November.
Ruth Quinn Berdell’s employment with Wellesley schools has ended. According to an e-mail from Superintendent Bella T. Wong, Berdell, the school’s business manager who was put on paid administrative leave last November, no longer works for Wellesley Public Schools effective today. Wong wrote that there would be no further public comment about the decision, other than it was being deemed a “personnel matter.” Berdell was originally put on paid, voluntary leave Nov. 21, 2011 after it was made public that she would be paid over 32 weeks worth of unused vacation pay totaling $86,000. Berdell has been at the center of controversy since the discovery last March that more than $100,000 in school lunch fees had gone uncollected for more than a year…
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The new employee currently serves the Lincoln-Sudbury school system.
The school business office will have another interim business manager this year. Judy Belliveau will take over as the Wellesley Public Schools business manager April 2, according to an e-mail from Superintendent Bella T. Wong to town department heads Tuesday. Belliveau is currently the business administrator for the Lincoln-Sudbury school system. She will replace Peter DeRoeve as interim business manager. Belliveau will be the third person to take the business manager position during this academic year. Ruth Quinn Berdell, who has filled the position for three decades, went on voluntarily paid administrative leave last November due to mounting pressure after her office was reviewed by a private firm and found to have a lack of checks and …
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
While more than $120,000 in unpaid lunch balances has been paid, 25 families still owe at least $100 despite numerous collection efforts.
After 10 months of effort that included the use of constables to hand deliver payment notices, there is still $36,918 in unpaid lunch bills owed to the school department, according to Superintendent Bella T. Wong. Wong last night recommended that the School Committee write off $3,501 owed by families who have since moved from town and can not be located, and another $3,282 owed by the seven or eight families who have outstanding balances but now qualify for free or reduced lunches. She said $6,223 is still owed from families who are now working with the town making payments on their bills, and another $342 is outstanding from families owing less than $100 on their child’s account. That leaves $23,569 still owed by 25 families who have more…
Thursday, January 5, 2012
From cameras at the new high school to the lack of composting by Chartwells to Ruth Quinn Berdell's back vacation pay, the School Committee addressed an array of concerns.
The School Committee last night candidly answered questions from a roomful of approximately 50 parents, students and community members who quizzed the elected officials about an array of missteps that have plagued the department for the past several months. The meeting was scheduled at the suggestion of Paul Baier, a parent of an eighth grader, who started Concerned Parents of Wellesley last month in an effort to get answers from the elected officials about a series of problems including financial mismanagement in the business office, questions about hiring practices, food safety, air quality at Schofield and a grandfathered verbal agreement that allowed two employees to receive a total of $101,000 in unused vacation pay banked over more …
Friday, December 23, 2011
Parents said they feel the school committee and administration are making strides toward correcting woes at the school, while former cafeteria staff continued the push to oust Chartwells and get their jobs back earlier this week.
Another School Committee meeting and another full house. Tuesday night, high school students filled the seats across the back of the Juliani room at Town Hall fulfilling a U.S. History course assignment, former cafeteria workers again lobbied their case against Chartwells and parents who have attended meetings for the past several weeks again came and commented. But this week the comments weren’t as critical as they have been in the past. Parent Michael Kiernan, who has two children in the public schools, prefaced remarks about the business manager currently on voluntary leave with praise for the School Committee. He thanked members for their continued support of public education and said he and his wife chose Wellesley when they moved …
Monday, December 19, 2011
While officials stay silent, a reading of the state law governing dismissal of school administrators may add clues to why Ruth Quinn Berdell's departure is dragging.
As Wellesley school Business Manager Ruth Quinn Berdell enters the fifth week of her unusual “voluntary paid leave of absence,” officials are being advised by legal counsel to refrain from commenting about the circumstances or duration of the leave. School Committee Chairman Suzy Littlefield repeated on Friday what she has said since the leave was first announced, that there would be no further comment until there is a change in status. The Wellesley School Committee has held two sessions behind closed doors to discuss “potential litigation,” and they are working with attorney Keith Muntyan of the Boston firm Morgan, Brown & Joy which counsels the schools in labor issues. In the meantime, Berdell is receiving her full pay based on an …
Monday, December 5, 2011
$1.85 million is requested to pay for building maintenance, repairs and new equipment as interim business manager is hired to fill Berdell's position.
The schools are looking at a proposed $1.85 million capital budget for the coming fiscal year to pay for maintenance projects at all of the elementary schools and Wellesley Middle School, new computers and laptops and cleaning equipment, among other things. The proposed capital budget came in $212 under the figure contained in the five-year spending plan viewed by the annual Town Meeting last spring, containing no unexpected or last-minute expenditures. With Business Manager Ruth Quinn Berdell on paid administrative leave, the capital plan was presented to School Committee Nov. 29 by Joe McDonough, director of facilities and Rob Ford, director, technology. The pair, both relatively new to the school system, scrambled to catch up on the …
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
School officials would not offer details on School Business Manager Ruth Quinn Berdell’s leave, possibly due to School Committee executive session last night.
The Wellesley School Committee and Superintendent Bella T. Wong are continuing to stay mum on the circumstances surrounding the voluntary paid administrative leave of Business Manager Ruth Quinn Berdell, who left her position Nov. 21 after 26 years on the job. Wong would say only that the leave was a mutual decision by Berdell and the school department. The silence may be related to a closed-door session the committee held after their public meeting in which they said they were discussing, “potential litigation.” Berdell has been at the center of controversy in the school department since last March when more than $100,000 in unpaid school lunch balances was discovered. A subsequent review of the business office by a private accounting …