Times Herald Record
March 13, 2007

Former librarian wins Liberty case

By Nathan Mayberg

Liberty – Embattled former Liberty High School librarian Angela Page won a major decision against the district that is trying to fire her.

The New York State Worker’s Compensation Review Board ruled Friday against the district in their appeal of her worker’s compensation claim. Page filed for the worker’s compensation in September 2005 after being on sick leave for a year.

Page said she developed multiple chemical hypersensitivities from exposure to mold at the library because of a leaking roof. The worker’s compensation board concurred in its initial decision handed down last year. The Liberty district has 30 days to make a final appeal in court. Superintendent Ed Rhyne said the school’s attorneys would be reviewing the decision.

Page still has to file a separate worker’s compensation claim for her time out of work since July 2006. Meanwhile, the district is moving forward to fire Page. A hearing is scheduled March 26 at the Liberty Firehouse before an adjudicator from the state Education Department to determine whether the school can strip her of tenure, a precursor to firing her.

Page said she wants to return to work in a new capacity as a grant writer or book ordering and cataloging for the library to avoid direct contact with students. She said her sickness prevents that. She often has to use a respirator because of burning in her lungs. Rhyne calls Page’s proposals “unreasonable.”