Educator receives insurance, pension

GLOVERSVILLE – A former Gloversville Enlarged School District assistant superintendent who retired after being charged with drug possession will receive his pension and health insurance, according to district documents and school officials.

Frank Pickus, 57, the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction who retired while on administrative leave in March, will have 75 percent of his health insurance paid for by the district as part of his settlement with the district.

The settlement, obtained by The Leader-Herald via a state Freedom of Information Law request, states the district also will pay for 75 percent of the premium for family dental insurance.

Pickus, who served the district for 27 years, will receive no other benefits or payments, according to the settlement.

District Superintendent Michael Vanyo said the insurance, worth about $13,000 per year, was in Pickus’ employee contract.

“Anything that he gets in retirement was already in his contract,” Vanyo said.

Vanyo and Board of Education member Joe Andrews said Pickus will receive a pension through the New York State Teacher Retirement System.

School officials did not say how much Pickus would receive annually from the pension.

“The formula takes into account years of service and also salary,” said Rich Carlson, Board of Education president.

Andrews said he does not support Pickus receiving health insurance, saying the costs are excessive for the district.

“I’m glad that he decided to agree to move on. I just don’t agree with paying his health insurance,” Andrews said.

Pickus was charged March 2 by Colonie police with being in possession of methamphetamine after a traffic stop, police said. He was charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal use of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors, and traffic infractions.

According to Colonie police Lt. Robert Winn, Pickus was stopped at 6:14 p.m. March 2 in the parking lot of Starbucks on Troy Schenectady Road.

Officers found Pickus was in possession of a small quantity of methamphetamine along with other drug paraphernalia, Winn said.

The school board late last month hired Helen Stuetzel as interim assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at a pay rate of $425 per day.

Pickus’ salary was $100,719 for the 2013-14 school year.

Vanyo said the district is starting to look for a permanent replacement for Pickus.

Pickus submitted a letter of resignation, which the district, in a unanimous vote, accepted April 8.