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The Times
  • Vivacqua to step into acting superintendent role at OECS

  • Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES District Superintendent Mark Vivacqua will assume the role of acting superintendent of the Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School District.

    The Oppenheim-Ephratah Board of Education approved the appointment Tuesday.

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  • Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES District Superintendent Mark Vivacqua will assume the role of acting superintendent of the Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School District.
    The Oppenheim-Ephratah Board of Education approved the appointment Tuesday.
    Hamilton-Fulton-Mongomery BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel had been appointed to the role last week when Oppenheim-Ephratah Superintendent Dan Russom and Chris Fatta, principal of D.H. Robbins Elementary School in St. Johnsville, were placed on paid administrative leave.
    The administrators were placed on leave after Michel and St. Johnsville Superintendent Laura Campione-Lawrence began an investigation into complaints against the two men.
    Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville school officials have not disclosed the nature of the complaints and have said further information would be released “if and when appropriate.”
    Russon has been Oppenheim-Ephratah’s superintendent for eight years.
    Fatta took charge of D.H. Robbins Elementary School in the middle of the 2011 - 2012 school year. Prior to that, he was the building principal under Russom at Oppenheim-Ephratah.
    In the statutory role as representative of the New York State Education Department, a BOCES district superintendent is required under law to assume the responsibility of superintendent in any component district at no additional pay when the duties of the position need to be fulfilled.
    The merger between Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville technically created a new school district when the final vote was certified in December 2012. The new district will be a component of Hamilton-Fulton-Mongomery BOCES, which led to the appointment of Michel. However, Oppenheim-Ephratah will remain a component of Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES until June 30.
    “Mr. Vivacqua’s long-term relationship with the district and its board makes him a more natural person to guide Oppenheim-Ephratah at this time,” Michel said in a statement issued Wednesday. “He has been gracious enough to step into that role.”
    The state directs former district boards to manage the final months under their current agreements and budgets and to make preparations for the launch of the newly merged district.
    On March 19 residents will elect seven representatives to the new district’s board of education. Those elected will assume authority over the district immediately and will be responsible for creating a 2013 - 2014 budget. Residents will go to the polls on May 21 to vote on the proposed budget.
    The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District will begin its school year on July 1.
    The boards of education of the Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville school districts will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 13 at Oppenheim-Ephratah. A tour of the building will be provided at 5:30 p.m.
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