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The Times
  • Oppenheim-Ephratah superintendent, D.H. Robbins principal on paid leave

  • Oppenheim-Ephratah Superintendent Dan Russom and St. Johnsville’s D.H. Robbins Elementary School Principal Christopher Fatta have been placed on paid administrative leave. Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel on Friday said the circumstances surrounding the paid leaves...
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  • Oppenheim-Ephratah Superintendent Dan Russom and St. Johnsville’s D.H. Robbins Elementary School Principal Christopher Fatta have been placed on paid administrative leave.
    Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel on Friday said the circumstances surrounding the paid leaves are not related to students or financial improprieties.
    Michel also said Russom and Fatta were placed on leave after complaints were first received on Wednesday. Based on information gathered during interviews of staff at Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville, he said Russom and Fatta were placed on leave while investigations continue.
    “Members of the Oppenheim-Ephratah school board feel strongly that the allegations made against Mr. Russom in no way should detract from his past accomplishments as an educator and administrator,” Michel said in a statement. “However, the board also recognizes his recent actions have compromised his ability to be an effective leader for our schools.”
    The Oppenheim-Ephratah Board of Education on Thursday appointed Michel as the district’s acting superintendent until such time as the board appoints someone else to the position.
    In Fatta’s absence, St. Johnsville Superintendent Laura Campione-Lawrence will oversee D.H. Robbins Elementary School. Before taking charge of D.H. Robbins in the middle of the 2011 - 2012 school year, Fatta was the building principal under Russom at Oppenheim-Ephratah.
    Russon has been Oppenheim-Ephratah’s superintendent for nine years.
    He previously expressed interest in serving as the superintendent of the newly merged Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville school district.
    The decision on the merged district’s superintendent is expected to be made after the seven school board members are elected March 19. The new district will begin operation on July 1.
    Officials said further information would be released “if and when appropriate.”

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