DOE names new, pricey Lehman H.S. principal

EAST TREMONT - Despite months of rallies, letter writings and phone calls, the Department of Education has named a new principal to lead Herbert H. Lehman High School.

The DOE plans to pay Janet Saraceno a $50,000 bonus ? a practice usually reserved for principals who take over at troubled schools ? despite Lehman's B-grade school year from the DOE. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has said he feels someone with expertise is needed to handle the transition.

According to supporters of Principal Robert Leder, the veteran educator is being forced to resign at the end of the school year over alleged financial mismanagement accusations. They claim Leder had no knowledge that two assistant principals were also being paid hourly wages as football coaches, but didn't do the job.

Students, parents, educators and some politicians lobbied hard to save Leder's job, leading some to believe that Saraceno will have an uphill battle to gain respect.

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