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Teacher placed on leave following arrest in connection to missing GTA funds

March 28, 2014—Earlier today, Farnsworth Middle School teacher Brenda McClaine was placed on paid administrative leave following her arrest last evening by the Guilderland Police Department. McClaine was charged with second degree grand larceny, a felony, for taking more than $100,000 in member dues from the Guilderland Teachers’ Association (GTA).

The GTA is the district’s largest employee bargaining group covering approximately 450 staff members including teachers, social workers, school counselors, psychologists, nurses, and others. McClaine served as treasurer of the GTA during the 2012-13 school year.

The district has cooperated fully with the GTA, the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) union and the Guilderland Police Department throughout the course of the investigation leading up to her arrest.

It is important to note that McClaine has not been accused of taking any funds from the school district. Charges stem solely from her role in the GTA. McClaine did not have access to any district monies and was not responsible for any club/organization funds during her time of employment.

McClaine has worked for the Guilderland Central School District since 1999, serving most recently as a math teacher at Farnsworth Middle School working with approximately 70 students in grades 6, 7, an 8 in an Academic Intervention Services (AIS) classroom setting.

Shortly after the release of evidence to the Guilderland Police Department, McClaine was reassigned to work at the District Office. A qualified, math certified substitute teacher has been covering McClaine’s classroom duties since that time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

“This is an incredibly unfortunate situation for everyone involved,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles. “However, as educators, our primary focus needs to remain on what’s most important and that is educating the nearly 5,000 students who come through our doors each and every day.”