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Embattled Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville superintendent resigns

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— The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Board of Education and embattled Superintendent Laura Lawrence jointly announced her resignation Wednesday.

In a news release issued late in the evening, the two sides thanked each other — the school board commended Lawrence’s efforts to guide the new district since its formation July 1 while Lawrence thanked the board for the privilege of serving as superintendent and said she enjoyed working with the staff and community. She wished the district well.

Lawrence was superintendent of the St. Johnsville Central School District before it merged with the Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School District last year. The new school board named her head of the new district but placed her on leave in November, only a few months into her term.

No explanation was offered at the time for her suspension, nor was any offered Wednesday. The news release also did not indicate if there was any financial settlement between Lawrence and the district for her departure.

In January, the school board appointed as acting superintendent Thomas Gallagher, who has served as superintendent for districts in Rome, as well as in New Jersey and Vermont. His appointment runs through July.

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