If you were “the Skip,” you’d take a victory lap around the bases, too.
Balking at any further legal chin music with George “the Skip” Roskos, the Scranton School Board decided to pay the former West Scranton High School baseball coach $40,000 to hang up his cleats. Roskos agreed to never skipper again, but gets to keep his $79,544 annual salary as — get this — an educator.
You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Roskos,42, is a phys-ed teacher at West. He was suspended last spring after he was accused of bullying players and other conduct you’d expect from a gym class hero who never really put high school behind him. Roskos, who nicknamed himself “the Skip” and speaks almost exclusively in the third-person, filed a grievance.
Naturally, the teachers union backed “the Skip.” Read Education Reporter Sarah Hofius Hall‘s report here. Note how many times Roskos references his nickname. Every instance was a big Invader-blue foam middle finger extended to district administrators — especially Superintendent Alexis Kirijan, Ed.D.
Kirijan is famously irritated by the nickname and the local legend who wears it so proudly. Roskos’ name was not used during the board meeting at which the settlement was approved. Afterward, Sarah asked district solicitor John Audi for a copy. Kirijan angrily intervened, insisting that the settlement was a “personnel matter” and therefore not public information.
Audi and Sarah knew Kirijan was wrong and said so. Apparently, the superintendent missed the newspaper’s coverage of former Old Forge School District teacher and principal Chris Thomas, who got a $130,000 secret settlement to go away. Audi represented the Old Forge board in that matter, and was forced to cough up the settlement details after The Times-Tribune used the state’s Right to Know Law to force disclosure.
Public service journalism pays off again.
Roskos’ payout should offend every district taxpayer. His continued employment as an educator should abso-skippin’-lutely embarrass every teacher in the union. His showboating isn’t winning the union any fans. Between innings today, President Rosemary Boland should tell the Skip to zip it.