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Martzloff resigns as Williamsville superintendent after botched COVID back-to-school plan

McKenna to continue as acting superintendent
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Posted at 5:50 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 17:50:11-05

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — The 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned Williamsville Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Martzloff and the Williamsville Board of Education have cut ties, after placing Martzloff on paid administrative leave, over botched back-to-school plans.

As a result of this agreement, Martzloff has resigned his position, effective immediately.

Under this agreement, Martzloff will receive payment for unused sick and vacation days accrued during his tenure as superintendent. That totals about $233,000.

Martzloff was making $233,000 per year.

Martzloff will also be paid eight-and-a-half months worth of his salary in January.

The agreement explains Martzloff must try and find another job, either as a building level or district level administrator, within 24 months. He has to show documented good faith efforts to find that job. If he can't get a school administration job by November 24, 2022, he'll be paid "an amount comparable to approximately three-and-a-half months of severance."

The Board of Education said, "Williamsville is a district supported by many professionals in private and public fields, and we trust that these residents understand that the separation of a top executive is often more costly than an organization would like."

The Board of Education voted to place Martzloff on paid leave back in September. They say Martzloff mishandled plans to get kids back to school for the 2020-2021 school year.

In a September statement, the board wrote,

...the reopening process has failed to give stakeholders the peace of mind or confidence that the plan, which has been changed numerous times over the last few weeks, is the best option for providing an exceptional and equitable education for Williamsville families.

Martzloff delayed the start for full remote students, in grades 5-12, right before school was set to start. He said then, it was because more than 100 staff members have resigned and nearly 100 more were taking a leave of absence due to COVID-19.

That affected 1,375 students.

The Board of Education said it was in the dark when Martzloff made that announcement and thought things were ready, after summer meetings with parents, students and staff.

An emergency meeting was held days later when the board voted to put Martzloff on paid leave. Dr. John McKenna was named acting superintendent.

Documents obtained by 7 Eyewitness News, through a Freedom of Information Request, show Martzloff was paid more than $6,000 per pay period, totaling more than $12,000 in the month of September alone. Acting Superintendent John McKenna is being paid the same salary after the board approved his raise last month.

Without the severance package, Martzloff would have been paid through June, 2022. This saves the district $400,000. The district stops contributing to Martzloff's health insurance and his retirement as part of this agreement.

The statement from the Board of Education said, "We are pleased that we were successful in not burdening future budgets by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the former superintendent’s health care and other benefits for 18 more months, and in retirement."

Martzloff was the Williamsville Schools superintendent since July, 2011. Prior to his nine-and-a-half years in Williamsville, Martzloff was the Superintendent of Schools for the Byron-Bergen Central School District.

McKenna will continue to serve as acting superintendent. The board will "consider" the best way to lead a search for a new superintendent.