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Shen's budget due to increase

The Shenendehowa Central School District is looking at a $5.5 million budget increase for the 2007-2008 school year.

The district's director of finance, Susan Martin, explained the increase when she presented a five-year budget forecast to the district's Board of Education at its meeting Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Martin said that the increase is largely due to the construction of Shatekon Elementary School and additions to Shenendehowa Middle School and the district's transportation maintenance facility. Martin said that the budget is expected to level off by the 2008-09 school year.

It will be a tough budget year, and we will need to look for corresponding savings, Martin said. "I am working with administrators and staff to determine if what they bring forward can be substituted."

Martin said she expects that there will be savings in retirement and staff leaves.

Budget projections assume that there will be no change in state operating aid.

"We won't know any more until the new governor comes in," Martin added.

According to the forecast, enrollment is also expected to increase over the next four years, for a total of 500 students.

In other news, the board appointed Elizabeth Wood as principal of the new Shatekon Elementary School, effective Jan. 2.

"I am overwhelmed by the strength of the administrative team and look forward to working with you in the future," Wood said of her appointment.

District Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson recommended Wood, and the board unanimously approved it.

"She received stellar reviews during a site visit," Robinson said.

For the past five years, Wood has been principal of Shaker Road Elementary School, which is located in the South Colonie school district. She also served as associate principal at Lisha Kill Middle School and was a high school social studies teacher. ""

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