Champ to take 34-day leave for husband’s surgery, recommends former superintendent as interim

Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ

Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ will be taking a leave of absence from Dec. 1 to Jan. 3 as her husband recovers from major surgery for a benign tumor. Champ will recommend to the school board Wednesday that former Superintendent Dr. Dennis Lauro serve as interim, according to an email Champ sent to residents.

“A few weeks ago, my husband was diagnosed with a benign tumor near his brain that will require major surgery,” said Champ. “We feel fortunate to have access to an incredible team of doctors, and his long-term prognosis is good. With that said, I will be taking a brief leave of absence as my husband recovers from his surgery.”

“Dr. Lauro brings a wealth of leadership experience and familiarity with our district having served as Pelham’s superintendent from 2008 until his retirement from the district in 2012,” she said. Prior to that, Lauro served as the district’s deputy superintendent and director of curriculum, instruction and personnel. Most recently, he was executive director of the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center from 2013 to 2019.

“I am confident that he, along with the support of Dr. Steven Garcia, assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and personnel; Jim Hricay, assistant superintendent for business, and Rosemary Matthews, interim assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services, as well as our incredibly capable administrative team and teaching staff will provide strong leadership and continuity while I am away,” Champ said. “Thank you, as always, for your continued support during this challenging time and I look forward to continuing our work together.”