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Ogdensburg school administration reshuffles as assistant superintendent retires


OGDENSBURG — When Assistant Superintendent David J. Valois retires at the end of this school year, the district will not hire a replacement.

Eliminating the position will help save $137,000 in next year’s budget as the district considers “administrative reorganization,” Superintendent Timothy M. Vernsey said. Most of that sum, $119,119, is Mr. Valois’s salary. Mr. Vernsey declined to specify where the remaining $17,881 in savings will come from, saying only that it will result from the realignment of administrative duties.

“We’re definitely looking at moving some people around,” he said.

That does not include layoffs of administration staff; “just reorganizing and shifting responsibilities,” he said.

Mr. Vernsey said he expects to have a plan ready to release to the public by May 1.

Meanwhile, Board of Education President Frederick P. Bean said the plan is to make the school administration “more efficient.”

“We won’t have an assistant superintendent anymore,” Mr. Bean said. “That’s gone. The question of how you restructure that and how you break up those duties is up in the air.”

The assistant superintendent is responsible for overseeing the special education program, helping Mr. Vernsey discipline students and filling in whenever Mr. Vernsey is away.

Mr. Bean said the district is considering how to assign the duties of the assistant superintendent to other administrators.

“What we’re concerned about is the savings being there and the job getting done effectively and efficiently,” Mr. Bean said.

To accomplish that, Mr. Bean said, another position probably will be eliminated, although the person will be retained in another capacity. He would not disclose what administrative position is being considered for elimination.

“Some titles are going to change,” Mr. Bean said. “It’s a matter of who’s going to do what and who’s going to be where. There have been about half a dozen different versions” of the reorganization plan. “The main part is finding someone to run special education.”

So far, Mr. Bean said, some administrators may have to work more hours during the summer to pick up some of Mr. Valois’s duties.

While any additional work will include a corresponding pay increase for those administrators, a savings will still be accomplished, Mr. Bean said. He said the savings from cutting the assistant superintendent position in addition to the roughly $150,000 saved by closing Sherman Elementary School a year early will go a long way toward preserving the district’s quality of education.

“We’re looking at every possible avenue to save jobs, keep programs and cut costs,” Mr. Bean said.

“We’ve scaled way back, we’ve cut, we’ve become far more efficient,” he said.

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