Harmony Elementary School Principal Erik Paulson will return to school next fall, following a unanimous decision Tuesday night by the Board of Education.
On May 13, the board had voted 5-4 to not offer a new contract to the popular admininstrator, who would have received tenure.
But in a stunning turn of events very late at the May 21 meeting, the board effectively reversed its prior decision after meeting in closed session. When they emerged around 11:45 p.m., board attorney Christopher Parton made a statement saying that there was some new information brought forth during the closed door session, of which he did not elaborate.
Superintendent William O. George announced he wished to amend his evaluation of Paulson to say that he "highly recommended" Paulson's re-hiring.
The board then voted 9-0 to rehire Paulson.
The decision to rehire Paulson almost did not happen. The motion by James Cody to revisit the board's prior decision was not supported by board members John Bennett, Susan Griffin, Leonara Caminiti and Joan Minnuies. It passed when Vincent Brand, James Cody, Ernest Donnelly, Gerald Wexelberg and Christopher Aveta voted 'yes'.
Harmony parents had come to the meeting in Harmony t-shirts and a petition listing 1,200 signatures in support of Paulson.