Barrington Bulletin

The most complete and most convenient source for news and information about the borough of Barrington, N.J.

Argoe out; acting principal named for Woodland School

Woodland School Principal Mort Argoe has been placed on administrative leave for the remainder of the school year, according to a letter from Barrington School District Superintendent Anthony Arcodia. Renee Gonnella-Kenelia has been appointed as the acting principal of Woodland School for the remainder of the school year.

The Barrington Board of Education accepted Argoe’s resignation in a special-action meeting May 23. The resignation is to take effect June 30. Arcodia’s letter says he made the administrative leave decision on May 24 “in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning.”

Argoe has been invited to participate in the eight grade graduation ceremony, the letter states.

Gonnella-Kenelia is the district’s director of Special Education and will operate in a dual role until the end of the school year, according to the letter.  Parents may contact her at   (856) 547-8402, Ext. 233, or

Argoe’s resignation came after an apparent bullying incident that some say he mishandled. Dozens of people showed up for the school board’s regular meeting May 14 and for the special-action meeting May 23 to defend Argoe, and many defenders also questioned the thoroughness of the investigation into his alleged actions.

During the special-action meeting, however, school board solicitor Mark G. Toscano said the district’s actions were not based on a single incident.

“This is a whole lot bigger and a whole lot more involved than what was spread,” Toscano said. “No one parent did this.”

When he was asked later about Argoe’s record and how it was possible that there were so many incidents from someone who appeared to have no issues before this year, Toscano spoke of an “uptick of incidents” in the current school year.


– May 14: “Woodland principal’s future at stake; several ask for resignation of school board president

– May 16: “Principal Argoe resigns from Barrington School District, former mayor says

– May 22: “Special meeting agenda released: ‘Accept the resignation of Mr. Mort Argoe’

– May 23: “Principal Argoe resignation accepted

5 comments on “Argoe out; acting principal named for Woodland School

  1. Mike Trout
    May 30, 2012

    “Not based on a single incident” Hmmm….Perhaps after a witch hunt conducted by the Superintendent. The Board should have done its own investigation before voting against the people of Barrington. As Principal of Avon School, I wonder how squeaky clean Mr. Arcodia’s record is.

  2. Ima
    May 30, 2012

    Witch hunt really? and what people are doing to one family isn’t a witch hunt? The board of Ed is made up of educated intelligent individuals. How do you know they didn’t look into the facts of this case? After talking to many people in town I have realized this is a whole lot bigger than 1 incident. There are many families out there that have had problems big and small with Mr. Argoe and they are afraid to say anything publicly because of how another family has been ostracised from the community. Try talking to people that you normally do not talk to and listening to their stories you may learn some interesting things. And do not judge because you may be in the same situation some day where your child/children need to be protected.

    • Angel Forhim
      May 31, 2012

      So, bully’s are now the VICTIMS? REALLY? This family is constantly surrounded by drama and this mother should talk to the children that her child bullied. Every parent should defend their children, HOWEVER, when their child is the BULLY, perhaps this child has learned this behavior at home? just sayin….

  3. Pingback: Big changes coming with new school year « Barrington Bulletin

  4. Pingback: School board to discuss Woodland principal position at tonight’s special action meeting « Barrington Bulletin

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This entry was posted on May 30, 2012 by in Schools and tagged , , , , , , , .
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