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Valley News Dispatch

Deer Lakes school business manager to join Highlands district

Emily Balser
| Tuesday, March 13, 2018, 11:43 a.m.

The Highlands School District has hired the Deer Lakes district's business manager, after searching for months to find someone for the position.

Longtime Highlands business manager Jon Rupert died in October, and the position had been vacant since then. Rupert was the district's business manager and board secretary for 31 years.

Lori Byron, the Deer Lakes School District business manager, will join Highlands as of May 1, and her contract runs through June 30, 2021. She will make $113,000 a year.

“I'm very excited to come on board,” Byron said. The Highlands School Board hired her in a unanimous vote at a meeting Monday.

Byron, who lives in Beaver County, has been a business manager for a 17 years in four school districts.

She said she is looking forward to working with Highlands Superintendent Michael Bjalobok again. The two worked together years ago at South Side Area School District in Beaver County.

Byron said she brings an extensive background of working with all types of school systems, from small, rural districts to larger ones. Highlands enrolls about 2,500 students from Fawn, Harrison, Brackenridge and Tarentum, and has a budget of about $45 million for the 2017-18 school year.

Board President Debbie Beale said it was hard to find someone to fill Rupert's shoes, but she looks forward to working with Byron.

“This was a long process,” she said.

District officials believed they could fill the position in January, but the candidate withdrew from consideration. The district has had an interim business manager working part time.

Deer Lakes spokesman Jim Cromie said Byron has been with the district for about a year.

“We're sorry to see her go and we happy for her,” he said.

Cromie said Deer Lakes will immediately begin the search for a new business manager because it's time for district to start working on its 2018-19 budgets.

Preliminary budgets have to be approved by May 31, and final budgets by June 30, Cromie said.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or on Twitter @emilybalser.

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