Disappointing is the word that best describes what has happened to two local school districts in the last three days.
In Valatie, Ichabod Crane Central School District Superintendent Michael Vanyo’s future hangs in the balance as he faces charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a property damage accident in Saratoga over the weekend.
More troubling, arguably, is the arrest of Taconic Hills substitute teacher and varsity volleyball coach Christopher MacArthur on charges he had sexual contact with a student under the age of 17. This allegedly went on for months.
Ichabod Crane scheduled a school board meeting to discuss Vanyo on Monday night, but it was called off when one board member could not make the session. Taconic Hills has not announced what the board of education and administrators are going to do with MacArthur.
Let’s review what these two men mean to their school districts.
Vanyo is the chief educational officer for Ichabod Crane, a proud school district with many accomplishments in academic and athletic quarters. He holds the top leadership post at Ichabod Crane and is the face of the district in many ways. As the district’s most visible leader, he is held to a higher standard than others around him.
MacArthur, who is 23, is a man parents trust to be with their children in the classroom. As a coach, he sets the standard of behavior for his players, who may come to see him as a role model or, again, someone they can trust.
Innocent until proven guilty? Absolutely, But in the minds of students and parents, Vanyo and MacArthur have betrayed the trust and leadership they were tasked to uphold.