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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 9, 2011

Diefenbach now at biz helm

By Saranac Hale Spencer

VOORHEESVILLE — Gregory Diefenbach is taking the reigns of the district’s business office with following the departure of the district’s long-time business administrator, Sarita Winchell.

“Greg is very experienced,” Winchell said, and well versed in state aid.

Diefenbach has worked in public school finance for 20 years, most recently working as the business administrator in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District.  He left in 2006, just before the recession, to work in private industry.  With the flagging economy, he decided to get back into the schools, conducting internal auditing services and claims auditing according to state prescribed standards.

Superintendent Teresa Snyder cited his experience with creating budgets among the things that made Diefenbach stand out from the seven other candidates who were interviewed from a pool of about 15 candidates.  He has a good grasp of the role of a business administrator, she said, and he understands the idiosyncrasies of school finance.

“We’re actually in pretty good shape here in Voorheesville, at least for the short term,” Snyder said of the financial outlook, which is bleak for many schools across New York, as they face further budget shortfalls after years of cuts in state aid.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed cap on the allowable increase to property taxes will be the biggest challenge facing Diefenbach, Snyder said.

“I’ve left a lot of trails… of information,” Winchell said, of notes she’s left in preparation for the coming year’s budget.

His experience lends itself well to solving the issues facing the district, Diefenbach said.

Diefenbach, who started work in Voorheesville on June 1 for an annual salary of $110,000, plans to stay.

“I’m looking for one last stop,” he said, and he’s assuming that Voorheesville will be it.

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