By Linda (Linjun) Fan
A special education teacher of Albany High School will be given a permanent job instead of a layoff letter, after a number of parents and members of community stood out to support her.
The Board of Education of Albany decided to keep hiring Elizabeth Enchelmayer, a probationary teacher of the Special Education Department of the high school, at a meeting Tuesday.
Enchelmayer was recently notified by school administrators that she would be laid off, together with two other teachers of the department, in the upcoming academic year.
She and the other two teachers then submitted resignation letters to the Albany Unified School District, preparing to leave.
However, parents with special education children were shocked at the news, and came to support the teachers. They wrote letters to school board members and spoke highly of the teachers at board meetings, urging the district to keep them.
District administrators then decided that two of the special education teachers were eligible for a tenure, leaving Enchelmayer on the layoff list, together with five teachers from other department of the high school.
Board Member Miriam Walden moved to approve the layoff at a meeting Tuesday, saying that she supported the decisions of school administrators over personnel issues.
She was seconded by Board President Charles Blanchard. But the three other members of the Board, Ronald Rosenbaum, David Glasser and Jamie Calloway, voted no on the motion.
As a result Enchelmayer won’t be laid off, but will instead be given a tenure, since she has completed her probation, said Assistant Superintendent Marla Stephenson.
“It’s great news. It sounds like that the Board and the administration have heard the voice of parents saying that she is a great teacher, ” said Susanne Portnoy, a parent of a special education child.
Enchelmayer said that she was excited at the decision, but declined further comment.
Board Members approved the layoff of the other five teachers of the high school at Tuesday’s meeting.
Click here to read previous stories on the layoff incident.