North Salem CSD officials reappoint Andy Pelosi as JV girls soccer coach following public outcry
Three weeks after a controversial decision to not reappoint former North Salem Board of Education member and JV girls soccer coach Andy Pelosi as coach for the 2021-2022 school year, the North Salem Central School District reversed course and today approved Pelosi to serve as coach for the upcoming school year. The reversal came following public backlash to the District’s earlier decision, including accusations of retaliation on the part of Freeston in response to Pelosi’s vote not to extend Freeston’s contract for an additional year.
At the time of the initial outcry, Freeston emphatically denied that the decision had anything to do with Pelosi’s vote. Instead, he said it was a labor issue, citing an incoming teacher who had expressed interest in coaching soccer and saying he believed the District was required to hire a union member over a non-union member. Within days, over 200 community members had signed a petition calling for Pelosi to be reinstated. At a packed June 30 North Salem Board of Education meeting, Board President Deb D’Agostino announced that the Board of Education had decided to conduct candidate interviews “as a courtesy to our colleague Mr. Pelosi.” The Board typically is not involved in coach hiring decisions.
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The interviews, D’Agostino previously told The North Salem Post, would be conducted by a panel composed of the Board of Education, North Salem High School Principal Vince DiGrandi and Athletic Director Denise Kiernan, with committee members evaluating the two candidates on their experience.
At a Special Meeting of the Board of Education held this morning, the Board approved Pelosi’s appointment to the role. D’Agostino told The North Salem Post, “we were able to do this without a protracted interview process because the other candidate withdrew from consideration.” Freeston reiterated D’Agostino’s remarks, saying, “the internal candidate withdrew and Mr. Pelosi was recommended and appointed.” Pelosi declined to comment for this story.
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