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OESJ superintendent on leave

POSTED 11/7/2013
OESJ Board of Education places superintendent on leave
The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Board of Education voted 4-3 Wednesday, Nov. 6 to place Superintendent Laura Lawrence on paid administrative leave. 

Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel will serve as the acting OESJ superintendent until further notice. In his statutory role as representative of the New York State Education Department, Dr. Michel is required to assume the responsibility of superintendent in any HFM BOCES component district when the position becomes vacant. Dr. Michel will remain acting superintendent until such time as the board of education appoints someone else to the position.

Board members Cindy Breh, Neil Clark, William Lints and Susanne Sammons voted in favor of placing Lawrence on leave. Members Keith Handy, Lee Quackenbush and Renee Swartz voted against.
As it is a personnel matter, Dr. Michel said board members’ reasons for placing Lawrence on leave will not be discussed publicly. 

Also Wednesday, Dr. Michel confirmed that the state Department of Education is currently investigating past grading and promotion practices of the former Oppenheim-Ephratah district, adding that the state’s investigation is unrelated to Lawrence.

“We are prohibited by the state from discussing this investigation at this time,” Dr. Michel said. “Once the investigation is complete, details will be released as appropriate.”