WALL TOWNSHIP – A letter sent from Superintendent of Wall Township Public Schools [WTPS] Tracy Handerhan on Thursday addressed the WTPS community and declared the Wall Board of Education’s [BOE] approval of a “separation of service agreement for the purpose of retirement from Principal Sirchio.” The separation agreement was approved by the board at their Sept. 19 meeting.
At the Board’s Sept. 19 meeting, no copies of Ms. Sirchio’s separation agreement were made public. The Coast Star has since received a redacted version of the eleven-page separation agreement between the Wall BOE and Ms. Sirchio, dated Sept. 22, 2023.
According to Brian J. Smyth, the Custodian of Records who responded to the OPRA request made on Sept. 21 by The Coast Star, the redactions have been applied to portions of the records deemed exempt as a “personnel matter,” pursuant to NJSA 47:1A-10.
The agreement states that Ms. Sirchio shall be placed on administrative leave of absence, with pay, from Sept. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023 and continue to receive her 2023-24 annual salary. Ms. Sirchio’s 2023-24 salary is $200,763, according to board documents.
From Jan. 2, 2024 through June 30, 2024, Ms. Sirchio will continue to receive her annual salary by utilizing the 114 accumulate unused sick days, five personal days and six floating holidays that she has earned during her employment, according to the agreement. This leave of absence type is redacted from the document received from the Wall Board of Education through OPRA request. A statement regarding this leave of absence pay being “contingent upon” something is also redacted.
The separation agreement continues, Ms. Sirchio “shall receive the sum of $99,116.06 at the time of her separation of service and retirement …. paid in accordance with the requirements of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board and the Wall Township Administrative and Supervisory Council … for the period of July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2028.” The $99,116.06 includes accumulated unused sick days, accrued banked vacation days and accumulated unused vacation days. The agreement states that this payment shall be made within 30 calendar days of Ms. Sirchio’s separation of service and retirement on June 30, 2024.
The agreement states, “The Parties’ entry into this Agreement shall not constitute … as an admission of wrongdoing or guilt, or liability in any matter on either of the Parties’ part … The Parties have entered into this Agreement solely to compromise disputed claims. If in the future, a third party should assert a claim against Ms. Sirchio relating to her actions as an employee of the Board, the Board shall indemnify [protect] her to the extent permitted by the law.”
The separation agreement includes a waiver signed by Ms. Sirchio, “not to sue and waive all claims against the Wall Township Board of Education and its present and former board members,” which she signed on Sept. 19.
The agreement also includes an Exhibit A which is signed by Ms. Sirchio and reads, “I hereby irrevocably retire from my employment with the Wall Township Board of Education effective June 30, 2024, for reasons of retirement.”
Ms. Sirchio was placed on paid administrative leave on April 12, 2021, soon after she returned from chaperoning a school field trip to Disney World in Florida in late March. The reason for her leave has not been disclosed by the board.
Attempts to contact Ms. Sirchio directly has been unsuccessful.
For more on this story, read the next edition of The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.
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