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Youngstown board to fire AWOL teacher

Published: Thu, November 19, 2009 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Harold Gwin

Efforts to reach the teacher have been unsuccessful, school officials said Tuesday.

YOUNGSTOWN — The city school board intends to fire a teacher who has failed to show up for work this school year.

The board voted Tuesday to suspend Ahmad A. Amawi without pay effective Wednesday and said it will vote to fire him at its Dec. 8 meeting.

The action was taken on the recommendation of Superintendent Wendy Webb, who said Amawi failed to show up for work at the start of the school year, and the district has been unable to reach him.

He is believed to be living in the Akron area, but efforts to contact him by mail and by telephone have been unsuccessful, according to school officials.

William Bagnola, president of the Youngstown Education Association, the teachers union, said he also has tried to contact Amawi without success. Bagnola said he heard that Amawi might be teaching in the Akron area but has been unable to confirm that.

Karen Green, Youngstown’s assistant superintendent for human resources, said Amawi, a high school science teacher, has been employed in the district for about two years. He was not a tenured teacher but worked on a yearly or “limited teaching contract.”

The board resolution passed Tuesday said his conduct constitutes grounds for termination and that the character of the charges against him warrants suspension pending that termination.

He was given the opportunity to meet with the superintendent to receive an explanation of the grounds on which she is recommending termination and to present any arguments he has as to why he shouldn’t be suspended or terminated, but failed to do so, according to the board resolution.

Further, it said that a notice of the board action will be sent to Amawi by certified mail and that the board will proceed with plans to fire him at its Dec. 8 meeting unless he files a written demand for a hearing on the matter.

His position has been filled with a long-term substitute teacher.



1Chief178(57 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

He probably just had other things to do! He'll be ok the kids need him! Please.

"The board voted Tuesday to suspend Ahmad A. Amawi without pay effective Wednesday and said it will vote to fire him at its Dec. 8 meeting"

So he's been getting paid the whole time, I need a job like that. Only in Youngstown

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2Maggie_Pentz(88 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Okay, before we all play our favorite game of "bash the teacher" here's what I'm thinking. He was not tenured and was on a "limited contract" which means that we was more than likely one of the teachers to be "RIFed" (reduction in force) in June. He then probably went on like a productive member of society to find another job in Akron. I'm guessing that since he was on a yearly contract and was effectively laid off, he probably didn't think that he needed to resign. Then they called him back and he'd since moved to Akron and is no longer at his local address. Now, why the board took this long to officially take him off of their rolls, I have no idea. Just think about this a minute before you all go into your lengthy rants about how worthless the people your children spend their days with are.

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3Maggie_Pentz(88 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

One more thing. I'd be willing to bet that he was not getting paid this school year. Of course he was "suspended without pay". What are they going to do? Suspend him with pay? Of course not, but that does not mean that he's been paid since the beginning of the school year.

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4debraweaver(30 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

First of all this teacher was likely on a year to year, limited contract, and believed that his contract was not renewed, so he did what anyone else would do which is go get a job elsewhere. It is a shame that this man has had his name defamed in the paper. He probably has no knowledge that he has done anything wrong.

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5jmoney(6 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I heard He quit his first year after 2 weeks but the district needed him back so he was hired back! He was on the RIF list last year and when he found out, he packed up his stuff and left the last two weeks of school. He did not give a final to any of his kids and never turned in grades. The dustrict needed science teachers this school year and by state law need to call any teacher on a RIF list back to there job when a position opens up, but they never heard from him the whole summer. He has not shown up for the first 12 weeks of school and now they want to terminate him now? It is a shame it has taken this long to do so. Thank goodness he wasn't tenured. What kind of message does this send to other teachers in the district? You can leave your job for 12 weeks and then come back to it...COME ON!!! They mention they have a substitute in his position, from what I have heard the sub is a certified teacher in science and because of all this "dragging of the feet" by the district this teacher cannot be hired full-time because this Amawi is still considered "employed"...INSANE!!! I just hope this certified sub gets the contract him/her deserves. It will be curious to see if they really terminate this guy and hire this certified and qualified sub in his position. But what happens if this Amawi shows up at the board meeting Dec. 8 and explains his situation? He can have his job back? If I were a teacher in the Youngstown City Schools, I think I might take 12 weeks off and then maybe I can return to work. There are teachers "clawing" to find teaching jobs in this area and you have, yet again, Youngstown city schools administration butchering the rep of teachers in the district!

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Ahmad has been busy with his friends in Akron and completely forgot about his teaching job .


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7YanniBGood(12 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

"The board voted Tuesday to suspend Ahmad A. Amawi without pay effective Wednesday and said it will vote to fire him at its Dec. 8 meeting."

This then means that he has indeed been paid up until now? Wish I had a gig like that. And if so, who has been cashing his pay checks & where? Direct deposit? The man may not exactly be a great communicator but by the same token, one wouldn't exactly have to be Sherlock Holmes to find him either. This story is very interesting but that's mostly due to the questions that were either not asked or not answered.

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8candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Breaking News

Youngstown Board Opens Satellite Office
Dateline: Youngstown, Ohio
Nov.19, 2009

In a bold and innovative move, the venerable Youngstown Board has leased 45 square feet of office space in the Akron Firestone High School.
The refurbished janitors' closet sits seven steps from the walnut-paneled door to the human resources office.
Asked to comment, a senior resources executive said that this takes the human resources department-in a logical and convenient place-one step beyond "tele-commuting".
He went on to say "It just makes sense that Mr.Amawi will spend endless months here, in the coming year, so why not leverage this, and reduce his commute time to pick up his pay".

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9123station(8 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Teaching our kids! This man should not even be allowed in our country.

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10JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago


I feel your argument and appreciate how you've framed it. The fact remains that most others don't enjoy the same shelter from termination that teachers enjoy -- good, bad or indifferent and whether you agree or disagree that is a fact. Teachers aren't the only ones that stand under this type of umbrella but they are definitely under it.

If he did in fact leave the job without giving proper notice potential future employers should have the ability to learn that, it should not just disappear into thin air -- whether discussing teachers, pilots or circus clowns information like this gleaned pre-hire makes it possible to truly hire better, more invested employees. Students deserve that at a minimum, right?

Also "productive member(s) of society" respond when contacted by their employers. They should have sent him a letter saying they had his last paycheck; methinks he would have materialized in that case.

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11candystriper(575 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with 123... everyone knows you hire from the Mumbai Science Teachers Association.

... B.S. in the U.S. is equivalent to a high school diploma in India.

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12jmoney(6 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Has to be either Chaney or East, the only two hihgh schools in the district.

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13Education_Voter(1114 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Jeff, teachers on limited contract have very little umbrella of protection under Ohio law. The district could have dismissed him earlier.
This same district requires teachers to file a paper as documentation of a sick day that includes the warning that they can be terminated for lying about sickness for 1 day. Teachers who are absent for 3 days must have a doctor's excuse.
Something is going on here that the story does not make clear.

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