BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Longtime educator and former McKinley High School Principal Crystal Boling-Barton has passed away.

Buffalo Teacher’s Federation President Phil Rumore confirmed to News 4 that Barton died Tuesday night.

A second source close to the Buffalo Public Schools also confirmed the passing.

Barton was one of the longest-tenured principals in the district, having served at McKinley High School for 34 years. She had been serving as president of the Buffalo Council of Supervisors and Administrators, AFSA AFL-CIO Local 10.

Barton had been on administrative leave since May 2017 from her post at McKinley. She stood accused of discriminating against LGBTQ+ students. BPS put Barton’s termination in motion after the American Civil Liberties Union sued the principal and district.

The district and ACLU resolved quickly resolved their dispute.

Following the March resignation of BPS Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash, Barton and BPS settled their dispute in April. Barton received more than $200,000 in additional pay and damages, $60,000 for her attorney fees and about $15,000 in legal expenses incurred by her union. The payout is in addition, to her salary while on leave. She was also given the option to return as principal.

“The leadership now has decided to take a fresh look at things,” union attorney Robert Boreanaz, who represented Barton, said in April. “And (they) decided that it was in the best interest of the district to move forward and resolve all these matters.”

The district said they appreciated Barton’s years of service at the time of the settlement.

“The District and Mrs. Barton have amicably resolved and settled various forms of litigation amongst them. As part of the settlement, Mrs. Barton, who is one of the longest-tenured and highly regarded principals in the District is eligible to immediately return to service at McKinley High School. Mrs. Barton is currently considering all of her options at this time. We are all very pleased to have finally put all these matters behind us and the District is appreciative and thankful to Principal Barton for all of her years of service.”

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.