Ten years later, Pete Kuczma is back; will supervise JV and Varsity at Greeley

pete k
June 22, 2012
by Christine Yeres

On Tuesday, Board of ed members appointed Pete Kuczma, who retired as athletic director of Greeley in 2002, to the position of “Supervisor of Athletics” at Greeley.  He will work with junior varsity and varsity sports while Athletic Director Steve Young focuses on modified and freshman sports as well as on developing the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) assessments for the athletic department.

Reached later in the week, Superintendent Lyn McKay described Kuczma’s position as “a support position in the department of athletics and physical education.” His work day will begin around noon, and his hours will remain flexible, according to need.

The additional position was needed, said McKay, because Young has an increased work load in creating and implementing the local assessments for PE teachers that state-mandated APPRs require.  “We brought back Pete Kuczma,” explained McKay, “so that we can ensure that high school athletics—in particular varsity and JV—are handled by one person, while Steve picks up all the rest.”

According to John Chow, Kuczma will be “an employee with a service contract and no benefits,” as opposed to a tenured administrator.  His salary will be $60,000.  Young will remain as Director of Physical Education and Athletics at a salary of $171,211.

The hiring will have no effect on the Athletic Department budget; the cost of the additional position will be offset by a reduction by half of the secretary to the athletic director.  She will spend the other half of her time at another clerical post in the high school, while another clerical position at the high school will be halved as well, with that person split between duties at Greeley and at Grafflin, where a retirement left an open clerical half-position.

In the last ten years, Kuczma has worked as an interim athletic director at Croton Harmon and, most recently, Putnam Valley schools.

We encourage civil, civic discourse. All comments are reviewed before publication to assure that this standard is met.

Thank you! Finally the voices of so many student athletes have been heard! While another layer of administration may not be ideal, it is an excellent alternative for an previously untenable situation.

By Chappaqua football on 06/22/2012 at 6:30 am

so let me get this straight……

to head-up the coaching staff and run the athletic department at HGHS we need an Athletic Director + Supervisor of Athletics + .5 Secretary…..

but next year’s 8th graders at Seven Bridges can’t have 8 CCSD-experienced teachers teaching 4 core subjects?  Instead, they will have 2 new-to-the-district dual-certified teachers under the guise of saving expenses.

Is sports more important than education?

By 10514 mom on 06/22/2012 at 7:08 am

Welcome back Mr. Kuczma – my gym teacher at RBS, AD at Greeley, and a positive role model throughout!  Look forward to seeing you.

By Scott Singer on 06/22/2012 at 9:21 am

Will the new supervisor of athletics report to the new principal or the superintendent? Will the AD report to the Superintendent? Will all Varsity and JV sports (even Football) and coaches be properly supervised and all follow the rules?

By Greeley Athletics Changes? on 06/22/2012 at 9:37 am

The article reads that:
Pete Kuczma will be “an employee with a service contract and no benefits,” as opposed to a tenured administrator.  His salary will be $60,000.  Steve Young will remain as Director of Physical Education and Athletics at a salary of $171,211.”

What is wrong with this picture?  $171,211 for a PE Director who was demoted? And now do we understand why the school budget is so high? These salaries for administrators are out of sight!!

By Concerned Citizen on 06/22/2012 at 12:12 pm

So let me get this right…The AD who has been in over his head since the day he got here was given tenure as soon as he was eligible over the objections of most coaches, athletes, and parents. Thank you Board of Ed. Since he has been tenured he has a job for life even though his performance leaves much to be desired (and I am being kind). Now Mr Young has an “increased work load” in that he now must evaluate PE teachers in district. How can someone who himself does not do a good job get the responsibility to judge others? This is a repeat of the Selesnick debacle where a
HGHS principal that was often out of touch and frequently criticized gets a promotion
and raise and now also has the responsibility to evaluate others. If a person is inadequate in their own job how can they be responsible to judge others? This is our CCSD Bof E and teachers union in action people- a shame!
This is a transparent embarrassment. The AD needs help. He has done a poor job so enter (*thankfully) Kuczma to the rescue. McKay and the school board are stuck with a tenured AD so they make some bogus excuse about his workload. Maybe now fields will be ready for play, buses to and from sporting events will be booked, referees will be scheduled, equipment and uniforms in good shape, and maybe there will be a good relationship between the AD office and athletes-coaches.

By Former highs student athlete on 06/22/2012 at 12:50 pm

I wonder how many other districts of similar size had to hire additional help to assist their athletic director. Does Supt McKay and our school board really think we are this gullible? Our AD who gets paid $170k for 10 months work plus pension and healthcare doesn’t have enough time to implement and assess PE teachers? Really? Too busy?

The state finally gets the union to agree to teacher evaluations and CCSD needs extra help complying in order to evaluate gym teachers. Really?
This is a perfect example of how tenure destroys a system. This AD has tenure. There have been multiple problems, issues, and complaints over the years. So since we can’t fire him (tenure is a job for life) McKay brings in an experienced former AD and tries to convince us that this is related to state mandated teacher evaluations. Maybe she will next try to sell us the new route 120 bridge.

By Really? on 06/22/2012 at 1:17 pm

Does this mean that Mr. Kuczma will be double dipping (receiving his full pension and then additionally receiving $60,000) ?  Although, it is about time that the School Board recognize the inabilities of the AD.

By can this really be? on 06/22/2012 at 7:41 pm

I do not understand any of this.

In my job, I work until I finish the assignment.  I do not get overtime, nor anyone to “assist” when I have some extra work given to me.  I consider myself fortunate to have a job that I commute into NYC for.  If I was to say that I needed someone to “assist” me, I would be out on my tush.  I bring work home, and never complain.

Was the above job posted?  I know many out-of-work residents/graduates who would love a $60k job with “…a work day will begin around noon, and…hours that will remain flexible, according to need.”

People should take a good look at the agenda/minutes of each CCSD board meeting.  You will see retirees who are coming back as consultants, incidental expenses not included in the budget, as well as an increase in hours for some employees (i.e., our “CCSD public information officer” from 17.5 houts to 27.5 hours a week).

My child will be in 8th grader at Seven Bridges next year.  I just learned that Mr. Knisley will not be a teacher for them next year, but will be moved to 7th grade for one year only.  Couldn’t he have stayed in 8th?  How did we not have the money for him, when we have the money for an “assistant” for the AD?

Can someone explain the reasoning behind any of this?

By Dazed and Confused on 06/22/2012 at 7:59 pm

Help Me.

The overworked AD has just had his workload reduced so he can devote time to developing and implementing the state mandated teacher assessment.  Are all other school districts doing likewise or is Chappaqua unique?  With the entire summer before him, I feel confident an assessment program could be developed.  Or maybe the summer will be devoted to the Modified program.  Should I laugh now?

So Pete Kuczma returns to oversee a high school athletic program in need of some tender loving care.  Now we have two people doing the work of one.  Add to that the challenging additional state mandated work and lo and behold, we reduce the clerical support by 50%.  Somewhere management skills are lacking.

But, when confronted with doing more without impacting the budget, something has to give.  With a choice between administrative or clerical, the administrators always win.  It’s the Chappaqua way.

What is the real story?  As with so many things, it’s not the action, per se, it’s the cover up.  And boy,  this ranks right up there.

By Let’s Get Real on 06/23/2012 at 9:00 am

But the board of Ed couldn’t (or wouldn’t) find money to maintain a full-time school psychologist at Westorchard?

By Still short-sighted on 06/25/2012 at 6:57 am

Steve Young once again “slithers” away.  The tenures and the absurd salaries have to STOP!!!!!

This is a man who does nothing other than irritate the kids and parents at HG.  He actually despises this community and disrespects our athletes and the parents at any given opportunity.  Why does this go on???  HE should be FIRED!!!!!!  Then we’d have the money to hire the teachers who actually love teaching in this community.


By What is this?????? on 06/25/2012 at 8:45 am

To the person who’s worried about what he/she calls “double dipping”—Coach Kuczma worked here, retired, worked elsewhere and is now returning as a contract employee WHO RECEIVES NO BENEFITS FROM THIS NEW, CURRENT JOB.  How could you mind the fact that he receives a pension from working here and retiring?  Would you have him work for FREE because he once worked here?  Think about it.

This is not “double dipping.”

By This is NOT double dipping on 06/25/2012 at 12:03 pm

Ughh?  How much are the clerical people making?  Yikes!  I love all the responses, but really people where are you when there’s a school budget vote or Board of Ed meeting?  The people that pay the taxes in this town and are fed up with crazy spending have to set the agenda for the Board of Ed meetings so the residents can be heard.  Who runs the show?  WE DO!  Board of Ed, are you listening???

By UGHH?? on 06/25/2012 at 1:43 pm

If what I am reading is correct, most posters are not begrudging Coach Kuczma a job; most posters believe AD Young is not doing the best he can do for the district as well as its students – and our district rewards him by having an additional body assist him.

However, many educational and instructional positions have been eliminated due to the budgets cuts that directly impact students….the posters above have identified just a few (7B next year in 8th grade, Knisely, WO psychologist, etc.).  The answer to “why” is always the budget,

Unfair all around.

By Reader of NCN on 06/25/2012 at 2:10 pm

The Tribou incident has been an embarrassment for Young and Selesnick. McKay is trying to soften this situation by replacing them but keeping them on the payroll in jobs that are outside the public eye. 

It is unfortunate that the Superintendent and School Board cannot eliminate this sort of wasted resources. I am sure that we have a lot more waste that is under the radar in our school district.

We should spend more resources reducing class size by adding more teachers.  Our children are the ones who are missing out in this mess.

By Tribou-Don’t-Go-Go on 06/25/2012 at 4:28 pm

Middle School Foreign Language is losing two weeks per year of instructional time (amounting to nearly one quarter of the school year by the end of 8th grade) and are teaching up to six sections as opposed to their normal five (four for core teachers). We are losing teaching in one of Chappaqua’s gem-foreign language-to bail out Steve Young, although I missed Mr. Kuzma from the day he left! Teachers don’t get bailed out if they under-perform!

This is Lyn Mckay’s doing. SHE is in over her head!

By Foreign Language on 06/29/2012 at 7:30 am

Every time the school board adds expenses, they cut a layer of fat from somewhere in the budget and declare a budget neutral action. Any competent business person knows this is nonsense budgeting and fuzzy math and that these are independent actions – the fat should be cut regardless of the hiring action. We are now paying 231,000 plus benefits to supervise athletics???

We are drowning in taxes and we do not have the commercial base to support keeping incompetent overpaid employees.

To the BOE and Dr. McKay, I know its hard work but you can re-mediate incompetence if properly documented over time and the employee is carefully supervised. This community can not afford to continue business as usual. Please, please do your jobs as we are all forced to in ours.

By CFO Dad on 06/29/2012 at 7:57 am

We need a fresh look at athletics, the program is broken and we are paying $230,000 plus benefits. The world has changed since 2002, and we need to figure out the best practices by studying successful programs. Shame on the BOE.

By Shame on the BOE on 06/29/2012 at 8:31 am

“His salary will be $60,000”.

“The hiring will have no effect on the Athletic Department budget; the cost of the additional position will be offset by a reduction by half of the secretary to the athletic director.”

Are we paying secretary’s $120k in this town. Where do I apply?

By Reality check PLEASE on 06/29/2012 at 11:37 am

It is undortunate that Pete Kuczma falls into this mess. What I mean by that is that Pete Kuczma was my Gym teacher back in the 60s at RBS. He was a great man and asset then, as he was when he seemed to follow my class to HGHS and so forth. Pete Kuczma is a gem to have in the School. Any School. What’s unfortunate is that monies are being spent where they shouldn’t be. Sports are being valued higher than academics (like this is new), and an inadequate Athletic Director is actually being paid 231,000.00 and not 171,000.00, since Mr. Kuczma’s salary should be part of Steve Young’s. The answer really might have been to require Mr. Young to hire his Assistant, and pay him out of his own salary. It is disgraceful to be making cutbacks within academic realms to make room for positions in athletics. Mr. Kuczma we we ALL always love you. This situation we won’t.

Editor’s Note:  Mr. K is now the interim athletic director for CCSD.  Mr. Young has taken another job outside of our district. 9/21/12

By Unfortunate on 09/21/2012 at 2:40 pm

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