Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO David A. Borghesani in the 2015 WHS yearbook CONTRIBUTED PHOTO David A. Borghesani in the 2015 WHS yearbook
PRESS FILE PHOTOBorghesani, left, leads the Whitehall High School Chorale in a performance for school board members in this Press file photo. PRESS FILE PHOTOBorghesani, left, leads the Whitehall High School Chorale in a performance for school board members in this Press file photo.

Board approves teacher resignation

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 by ANDREW MARK Special to The Press in Local News

Borghesani investigated for ‘inappropriate communications” with students

Whitehall-Coplay School Board on Monday night approved the resignation of David A. Borghesani, music teacher at Whitehall High School.

While employed by Whitehall-Coplay School District, Borghesani used his middle name, Andrew.

After the meeting, district Solicitor Jeffrey Sultanik told The Press Borghesani’s resignation was due to “inappropriate communications using emails, texts and Snapchat.”

“We are only aware of two specific and verified allegations of inappropriate conduct,” Sultanik said, adding the parents of one student came forward with the allegations.

“We interviewed the students to verify the claim,” he said.

According to Sultanik, the allegations were brought to the district in October 2016, and Borghesani was suspended with pay while the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office conducted an investigation.

“We were waiting for clearance from the district attorney’s office to conduct our own investigation,” he said. “We didn’t want to interfere.”

Once the district began its own investigation, Borghesani was suspended without pay, according to Sultanik.

Sultanik said he was “not going to talk about specific details, but it’s not the kind of behavior expected of any professional educator in our district.”

He confirmed the inappropriate communications happened both “during and after school time.”

Sultanik said Borghesani did not exhibit any of this kind of behavior before being hired by WCSD.

“He was well liked and respected,” he said.

While an employee of the district, Borghesani had been choral director and director of the WHS pep band. He was very involved in the production of the high school’s spring musicals.

“The district addressed the issue when it came to our attention and got a replacement immediately,” Sultanik said. “This still may be an open case for the Whitehall Police Department and the district attorney’s office, but we’re not prepared to comment on that.”

Borghesani has not been charged.

During the meeting, board member Tina Koren addressed the issue of Borghesani’s resignation.

“Tonight, I want to ask board members to fire Mr. Borghesani and am urging the board to approve,” she said. “I never want to see this guy teach in any district.”

Sultanik said that the approval of the resignation “does not mean the board wouldn’t support termination or approves of the actions of Mr. Borghesani.”

“Under current Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law, teachers who engage in inappropriate conduct are subject to state Act 168 under scrutiny. He will not be teaching in any district in the Commonwealth,” he said.

“An approval of a resignation prevents the ability to collect unemployment. This is the best possible result,” Sultanik said. “Nothing in this is an approval on any part of the board.”

Borghesani’s resignation became effective Feb. 7.

After the meeting, board member Owen Eberhart Jr. said he had “no comment” on the approval of Borghesani’s resignation.

WCSD Superintendent Dr. Lorie D. Hackett said she “informed other constituents in the state” of the allegations, as well as an area church for which Borghesani worked.

Borghesani, 29, is a graduate of Nazareth High School and Moravian College, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction. He had been employed by WCSD since 2010.