Sachem board member resigns, Superintendent cites ‘incident’ at Sachem HS East

LAKE RONKONKOMA, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — James Mancaruso, a member of the Sachem School Board of Education, has resigned after what the district superintendent described on Wednesday night as an “incident” at Sachem High School East in Farmingville.

“Last week there was an incident at East High School that involved a board trustee,” announced Christopher Pellettieri, superintendent of the Sachem Central School District, at the start of the board meeting. “It is under investigation, is being taken incredibly seriously, and has resulted in an action today.”

Pellettieri did not mention the nature of the incident, nor was the specific board member’s name mentioned.

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Immediately after Pellettieri’s comment, the board voted on and approved the following resolution: “Be it Resolved that the Board of Education accepts the letter of resignation of Board Trustee James Mancaruso from his position as Board of Education Trustee.”

OnSachem News has reached out to Mancaruso for comment and is waiting to hear back.

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Later during the board meeting as part of the public comment period, a parent talked about last week's incident in which she claimed Mancaruso verbally attacked staff members and a 14-year-old girl in the auditorium at Sachem High School East. Pellettieri said the district is reviewing security procedures.

Mancaruso was reelected to the school board a year ago. At the time, Mancaruso said in an OnSachem News candidate profile: “We must work diligently to create curriculum needs for all students. I am a strong advocate for all special education programs, extracurricular activities, and sports. I believe in educating the whole child.”

Also during the public comment period, a speaker urged the board to appoint outgoing board member Meredith Volpe to the vacancy created by Mancaruso's resignation. Volpe lost her reelection bid last month, coming in fourth place for the three available seats. 

Later during the board meeting, multiple parents and students spoke to urge dropping the mask-wearing mandate.

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