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McCann Picked To Serve As Chappaqua's Interim Schools Superintendent

Daniel McCann, pictured during his time as schools superintendent in Hendrick Hudson.
Daniel McCann, pictured during his time as schools superintendent in Hendrick Hudson. Photo Credit: File photo

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- A veteran education administrator has been picked to serve as Chappaqua's interim superintendent of schools more than a month after the abrupt announcement of Superintendent Lyn McKay's retirement.

In a Friday afternoon email to parents, school board President Alyson Gardner announced that Dr. Daniel McCann has been picked to serve in the role temporarily.

McCann was Hendrick Hudson's superintendent from 2006-12 and served as Tarrytown's interim superintendent from 2015-16, Gardner noted. Prior to that, he served as interim principal at Pleasantville High School.

"Over his 40-year career in education, Dr. McCann has provided strong, thoughtful leadership and a steady hand in all of his roles," the board president stated.

The full board will vote on McCann's appointment at its meeting on Monday, Dec. 5, Gardner noted. His employment with the district will be effective for the following day.

The school board announced McKay's departure on Halloween; it takes effect on Jan. 2. While no reason was given for the superintendent's exit, the announcement came amid calls for her to resign over her handling of the sex-abuse case pertaining to former Horace Greeley High School drama teacher Christopher Schraufnagel.

McKay was criticized by parents for her signing off on a controversial legal defense against litigation brought by student sex-abuse accusers. The defense, which rests on a legal standard called "comparative negligence," blamed the accusers for what happened for purposes purposes of civil liability. McKay, who recalled that she signed off on the defense after receiving legal advice from both the district's regular and special counsel, denied that she personally blames the students.

Eric Byrne, the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, has served as acting superintendent since Nov. 1.

The district is facing litigation, both in the form of active lawsuits and preliminary paperwork to pursue suits, from a total of seven accusers. Schraufnagel, meanwhile, has pleaded guilty in a criminal sex-abuse case and will be sentenced in New Castle Justice Court in February.

Previous coverage of Christopher Schraufnagel can be read here.

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