Principal resigns at OESJ

OPPENHEIM – Members of the Oppenheim-Ephratah St. Johnsville Central School District Board of Education accepted the resignation of High School Principal Ronald Smith on Thursday.

During a meeting Thursday the board voted unanimously to accept the terms of Smith’s resignation.

OESJ Acting Superintendent Thomas Gallagher said Smith’s resignation came in earlier that day.

“[Smith] is looking at other places [of employment] with more money,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher said he believed Smith may have a new place of employment lined up, but could not say where.

According to Gallagher, Smith’s resignation would, through the terms of his agreement, allow him to be paid his salary up until Aug. 3.

Smith did not know how much Gallagher was paid.

Officials with the district could not be reached for more information this morning.

In another resolution, Ted Kawryga was formally chosen as the acting principal of OESJ High School.

Originally, Kawryga was chosen earlier this month to temporarily fill in for Smith for undisclosed reasons.

The reason for Smith’s absence, or when it was effective, were not provided in the announcement at the time.

Board of Education President Sue Sammons directed all questions to Gallagher.

“Mr. Kawryga is a veteran school administrator and former Dolgeville school superintendent. He will serve as acting principal until further notice,” the announcement said.

Kawryga will be paid $350 a day, with his contract lasting until July 31.

Gallagher said the district also will begin looking for a new permanent principal as soon as possible. The salary for the position has not been discussed yet, he said.

This is the second administrator at OESJ who has left the district this year. Former Superintendent Laura Lawrence was put on administrative leave in November, finally stepping down from the position in April.

Lawrence was named superintendent last May. She served as the St. Johnsville Central School superintendent from the beginning of the 2012-13 school year and as deputy superintendent before that. Before becoming superintendent, she was the principal at St. Johnsville’s elementary school.