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Former Dexter Elementary principal now General Brown treasurer

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DEXTER — The General Brown Board of Education here recently made its first move in reducing administrative costs.

With a vote of 6-0 during its monthly meeting Monday, the board approved the resignation of former Dexter Elementary Principal Lisa K. Smith, and then approved her appointment as district treasurer, effective Wednesday.

District Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr. said former Director of Student Services Hope A. Lopresti has been transferred to Dexter Elementary as its principal. At this time, he said, the board has chosen not to fill Mrs. Lopresti’s old post, which is being absorbed by other staff members.

Board members had been looking for a permanent business administrator since August, when Michele A. Traynor left that position to work for the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Ronald K. Wilson was appointed as interim business administrator soon after, and left the district earlier this month.

Mrs. Smith first joined the district as a teaching assistant and reading teacher in 2003, and in 2008 she was administrative intern at Brownville-Glen Park Elementary School and then was in charge of the Response to Intervention Program. In 2008, she became Dexter Elementary principal. In between her time as reading teacher and Dexter Elementary principal, Mrs. Smith worked as director of student services and special programs for Copenhagen Central School District.

“Mrs. Smith’s experiences will allow her to continue to work in instructional areas while also serving as treasurer,” Mr. Vigliotti said via email. “The Board asked that we reorganize administrative staff in order to reduce costs.”

That is something the board has inquired about for more than a year, and reducing administrative costs again became a topic of discussions during recent board meetings, as the board faces a $1.6 million shortfall in its 2013-14 spending plan.

In December, board members decided to renew their focus on shared services or a possible merger since the district faces tougher financial years ahead. At the December board meeting, Mr. Vigliotti told board members there were both internal and external options for sharing services, whether agreements were made in-house with other schools or would require guidance from Jefferson-Lewis BOCES.

BOCES Superintendent Jack J. Boak will attend the March 25 board meeting to discuss a merger study.

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