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January 30, 2012

Two file suit against Cherry Valley-Springfield School

CHERRY VALLEY

Two former employees of Cherry Valley-Springfield Central school have filed charges against the school for what they say are unfair or inappropriate actions by the superintendent and the school.

Former music teacher Liza DiSavano hired Cooper Erving & Savage LLP Attorneys and Counselors at Law to take on a discrimination case that was filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. The supporting affidavit claims that Superintendent Robert Miller harassed at least 12 teachers and staff, most of whom are older than 50 and all of whom were older than 40, until they were “fired, constructively discharged, quit or retired.”

DiSavano, who had been teaching at CV-S for six years, said she feels like she was harassed into quitting.

For example, she said, she believes her room was being searched because her closet was left open several times and things looked to be misplaced. DiSavano said the district tried to convince her to take on part-time duties and give up her seniority.

“I am a teacher who had a 29-year spotless teaching record until Miller came along and began placing what I feel were deliberate lies and distortions in my record in order to force me out of teaching. I was a two time recipient of the Master Teacher designation from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. As a musician, I have had my published printed music and recorded music played across the world,” she said.

“There was just a lot of day-to-day nasty behavior such as Miller not speaking to me. Or when he did, he was hostile,” she added. “Things just kept culminating and he would always come up with some case to try and have me dismissed or seen as not using professional behavior.”

The 53-year-old said she filed charges not because she is looking for money, but because she is asking for justice. “At least somewhere he stands accused,” DiSavano said.

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