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Holiday Season 2014: Follow The News Here, On Facebook, Or Twitter

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Principal says she was fired for reporting teacher’s ‘fake’ internship
By Susan EdelmanDecember 20, 2014 | 11:33pm

A scandal over a teacher who allegedly falsified documents to get a master’s degree has ensnared a state Board of Regents member and a principal who claims she was fired for blowing the whistle.
Lori Evanko, ex-principal of JHS 125 in The Bronx, accuses teacher Kandis Rivera — the daughter of a retired city principal — of faking paperwork for a Fordham University internship last year, records show.
Kandis Rivera, 35, an English-as-a-second-language teacher under Evanko’s supervision, faked 275 hours of an administrative internship at the Soundview school, Evanko charges.
“An internship is rigorous,” Evanko told The Post. “You have to work with a principal and assistant principals on things like budget, curriculum, instruction, and be assigned certain responsibilities. She did none of that with us.”
Under Evanko, JHS 125 improved from an “F” grade in 2012 to a “B” in 2013. But the Department of Education abruptly fired Evanko on June 27 — nine days after she and two of her then-
assistant principals met with agents of special schools investigator Richard Condon to report Rivera.
The SCI probe is ongoing, a spokewoman said.
Evanko has filed a claim against the city, saying she was fired in retaliation.
Rivera, a teacher since 2006, received a master’s degree in administration and leadership from Fordham’s school of education in May. The degree puts educators on track to become principals.
She has since gotten a big raise because teachers with Master’s degrees get bumped up the salary scale. She made $59,453 plus $9,138 in overtime for after-school tutoring in 2013.
Her salary is now $75,283.
Evanko’s complaint has entangled Kathleen Cashin, a member of the State Board of Regents, which oversees education statewide. Cashin, a former Queens school superintendent, is a Fordham professor and was Rivera’s internship instructor.
Evanko contends Rivera forged her signature on a document requiring the principal to agree to oversee the internship, but Fordham officials said that document is missing.
Another form stating that Rivera completed her internship was signed by PS 72 Principal Margarita Colon, described by Evanko as a “very good friend” of Rivera’s mom, retired principal Nilda Rivera. But Kandis Rivera never worked at PS 72, the DOE says. Colon would not explain when or how Rivera did the internship.
A DOE spokesman said Evanko’s termination was due to “school performance and her fit with JHS 125’s unique characteristics and needs,” and “in no way related” to her complaint against Rivera.

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