AUSTINTOWN - Two administrators in the Austintown Local School District have swapped positions.
Assistant treasurer Arthur J. Ginnetti was appointed district treasurer at the Feb. 15 Board of Education meeting. He will replace Mary Ann Herschel, who is stepping down for personal reasons.
However, Herschel plans to remain with the district as assistant treasurer / human resource specialist until her retirement.
Ginnetti has 10 years of public service and financial experience.
"In a district our size, it is vital to have someone in that office," Superintendent Vince Colaluca said. "A.J. was a great fit. He had five years as treasurer of Struthers School District and served as a CFO in a government entity giving him 10 years experience in public service."
Ginnetti was hired May 16, 2016, as assistant treasurer with the vision of replacing Herschel when she retires.
"We are pleased the succession planning is paying off by a smooth transition of this very critical position. Ms. Herschel has displayed her true professionalism and selflessness by being an important contributor to this transition. We look forward to Mr. Ginnetti continuing the Austintown tradition of being good stewards of the taxpayers funds," board President Alex Benyo said.
Ginnetti grew up in Struthers and graduated from Struthers High School in 1999. He attended Youngstown State University, where he majored in accounting. He said accounting just naturally came to him during his high school days.
"I took an accounting class in high school; it came naturally to me, and I have pursued it ever since," Ginnetti said.
Ginnetti said it can be a challenge working as the treasurer of a large school distirct, with something new every day. Unlike the private sector financial officer, Ginnetti said, in the school district, there is a tougher playing field.
"School districts have a more stringent set of rules due to mandates from the state and federal government than that of a private sector," Ginnetti said. "Austintown School District is the largest district in Mahoning County and is always the first to volunteer to be a pilot district. Many schools model programs off of what Austintown is doing since we are often the first ones to implement new programs."
For the future, Ginnetti said the biggest challenge will be Gov. John Kasich's new proposed state budget on school funding. He said many schools in Mahoning County are facing budget cuts.
"The challenge is going to be keeping the district fiscally sound and not going back to the taxpayers of Austintown asking for a levy to generate new money," he said.
Colaluca said with Herschel serving as human resource specialist, the district won't have to hire another employee. And since the assistant treasurer position already existed, no new jobs are being created.
"These are positions that already exist within the district," Colaluca said. "No new administrators will be added with this change."