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B-M, SRF pick Andre as next shared superintendeny

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The Brushton-Moira and St. Regis Falls school boards unanimously appointed Donna Andre as new shared superintendent at a joint meeting Wednesday night in the St. Regis Falls high school library.

The board then accepted current Shared Superintendent Beverly Ouderkirk’s resignation by a 13-to-zero vote, with three abstentions.

Ms. Ouderkirk will serve as a mentor through a contract agreement with a unanimous vote once Andre starts her term.

Ms. Andre is currently in her fifth year as the Chateaugay High School principal. She is said to have “the necessary qualifications and experience to serve as the shared superintendent,” according to the boards’ resolution. Ms. Andre’s anticipated start date is Feb. 25.

Her contract will last for three years and four months. Her initial annual base salary will be $125,000.

“I’m invested and interested in both communities and dedicated to north country rural schools,” she said.

Ms. Andre says she has been focused on making connections in her district and familiarizing herself with the community. She said it will be hard leaving a district that she has come to know and love.

“I loved working there (Chateaugay), and Dale Breault was the best boss ever,” she said. “I really appreciated the administration.”

Ms. Andre said the transition from commanding one school to looking after both will be an experience.

“It’s going to be an interesting journey, and we’re going to have to work together for a successful endeavor,” Ms. Andre said.

Before her start date, she will be attending as many school meetings as she can, while still fulfilling her duties as Chateaugay principal.

“It’s a good place where community members can be heard,” she said.

Ms. Andre said her focus is on student achievement.

“First and foremost we want to provide students with classes that will make them most successful in college and in their future careers,” she said. “But it’s going to be tough in an economy like this one.”

Ms. Andre has been a part of the school system for 22 years. She was also a substitute teacher for the Brushton-Moira and St. Regis Falls school districts. She attended school in Brushton-Moira and grew up in Moira.

“Something just keeps bringing me back here I guess,” she said. “That’s not a bad thing.”

“I will be helping her to become familiar to the position and what to be prepared for,” Ms. Ouderkirk said. “I’ll teach her the day-to-day things and the challenges that crop up as well.”

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