ONEONTA _ The contributions of departing Deputy Superintendent Thomas Austin were recognized during Wednesday's Oneonta City School District Board of Education.

The regularly scheduled meeting was held at the middle school library.

Austin is scheduled to leave at the end of the month, after 15 years, to become superintendent at Walton Central School. Retired Charlotte Valley Central School Superintendent D. Ronald Whipple was hired Wednesday as the interim business official at Oneonta until the post is permanently filled. Austin had served as business official and then business administrator before being appointed to his current position at Oneonta a year ago.

Superintendent Michael Shea was the first to thank Austin, following the board's acceptance of his resignation.

"We appreciate all you've done over the years," he said, telling those in attendance, "He'll be a great superintendent."

High School Principal Nancy Osborn thanked Austin for taking the time to teach "life lessons." She added, "You will be missed."

District Clerk Eileen Lishansky, who worked as Austin's secretary for several years, said, "He's an incredible administrator and teacher."

Austin said he was humbled by the praise from those speakers and others, including other principals and administrators and board members.

"I've learned so much here," he said, and will remember the people he has worked with on all levels over the years.

He has lived in Walton since the 1980s, and previously worked in the district.

In other business, during the reorganization meeting that preceded the regular session, Grace Larkin was returned to her post as president and Susan Hughson as vice president of the board of education.

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