'We didn't do anything wrong.' Beloved Tuxedo principals officially fired by BOE the day before graduation
Two beloved Tuxedo principals are speaking exclusively to News 12 after they were seemingly fired without notice and let go with just days until the end of the school year.
Tuxedo students held signs and gave their beloved principals, Roy Reese and Dolores Terleckey, a standing ovation Wednesday night when they walked into a school board meeting just before they were fired.
Students spoke out against the seemingly sudden move.
“This all seems very abrupt," said one graduating senior. "None of us even got to say goodbye.”
“He is the person we want handing us our diplomas," said another student.
Reese and Terleckey were let go from their positions at Tuxedo’s high school and elementary school earlier this month, but students and the former administrators themselves say they don’t know why.
“We didn’t do anything wrong," said Reese.
News 12 spoke to both educators on Thursday when they otherwise would have been getting ready for graduation day.
“We are shocked. We are disappointed. We are distraught," said Reese.
Reese and Terleckey have more than 100 years of combined experience in education and say they feel they are being discriminated against because of their ages as senior citizens. Reese is 82, and Terleckey is 72.
The school district denies that allegation and says despite their ages, the administrators were hired two years ago.
District officials didn’t say why the principals were fired or why they weren’t allowed to finish the school year and see students graduate on Thursday.
“I was so looking forward to graduation,” said Reese. "I want them to know how much I love them. I want them to know how much I care about them.”
"I wish for the kids and families to know how much we care about them," said Terleckey. "We are proud of them, and we will miss them very much."
Even though the former principals aren't able to hand students their diplomas, graduating seniors say they are in their hearts.