This week at Greenwich High School, band director John Yoon and band teacher Ben Walker have been missing from school. Parents and students have been curious as to the reason why.
Replying to an email request for comment on Thursday, GHS Headmaster Winters said he could add no more detail than what was included in an email to band parents sent out on Thursday saying, “We regret to inform you that Mr. Yoon and Mr. Walker are out on leave.”
The email said that Kyle Camerato is filling in for the two teachers during their absence.
The absence of Mr. Yoon, has an element of déja vu because three years ago in May, he was placed on paid administrative leave.
“With the guidance and support of Ms. Laura White, the District Coordinator for the Arts, we are looking for a second teacher as well,” Winters wrote.
The headmaster assured parents that their children will be in good hands until such time as Mr. Yoon and Mr. Walker return from their leave.
“We will keep you informed of Mr. Yoon’s and Mr. Walker’s status as appropriate. Until further notice, morning sectionals are cancelled,” he said in the email.
In 2015 Mr. Yoon was terminated by Greenwich Schools superintendent Bill McKersie.
To the surprise of many, he appealed his termination and asked for a public hearing.
For a total of 9 days stretching out over the summer and fall, a parade of witnesses testified before a gallery of spectators. Mr. Yoon’s attorney was Daniel Young and Dr. McKersie’s attorney was Thomas Mooney.
Nine full days of public hearings were conducted, with each well attended by supporters of Mr Yoon’s.
On December 9, the Board of Education discussed the 120 page recommendation of the hearing officer M. Jackson Webber, who after the hearings recommended the termination of Mr. Yoon.
Nevertheless, the Board of Education voted to discipline Mr. Yoon with a suspension with pay from April 29 thought Dec. 9, 2015 – in other words, time served.
In December 2015 Mr. Yoon was able to return to work.