Amherst school board hires new financial officer

Superintendent’s contract extended through 2022

By Jason Hawk -



A new treasurer was hired Monday to oversee the Amherst school district’s finances.

Amelia Gioffredo was tapped by a unanimous vote of the board of education. She was granted a three-year contract starting Aug. 15.

A resident of Vermilion, Gioffredo has served since 2015 as treasurer for the Fremont Schools. Prior to that, she was assistant treasurer of the Strongsville Schools for five years.

She has a depth of experience handling budgets in the tens of millions of dollars as well as with school construction projects.

“Our community sought a treasurer with strong financial experience and communication skills,” said school board president Teresa Gilles. “Ms. Gioffredo’s lengthy experience in school finance and her positive, customer-focused attitude will help us maintain our strong financial stability long through 2022 and beyond.”

Interim treasurer Larry Hannman handed off the torch. The retired EHOVE Career Center finance director had stepped in while a search was conducted to replace former Amherst Schools treasurer Barbara Donohue.

During her six-year tenure, Donohue helped rebuild the district’s finances from a period of instability. She also led the board of education to restructure its debt, making construction of a new PK-3 Powers Elementary possible without a huge tax hike.

Donohue bowed out June 15 after accepting a position as treasurer at the Cuyahoga Falls City Schools.

Gioffredo’s hire was the first of several important leadership decisions made Monday by the board.

Superintendent Steven Sayers also accepted a contract extension through July 31, 2022, with a 2.25 salary increase to $102,706 per year.

Sayers took a pay cut in 2014 when he retired and was rehired under a contract through 2019.

Though he had considered stepping down next year, he said he is simply too excited by developments in Amherst. He wants to stick around to see the new Powers Elementary open and the existing school on Washington Avenue demolished.

“Amherst is a great place to live and a great place to work. We enjoy being a part of the Amherst school district and the Amherst community. It’s an exciting time here in Amherst and I’m excited to be part of the team,” he said.

Gilles said Sayers’ leadership has been key to keeping academic standards high and costs low.

“Our administrative costs are 31 percent below the state average, we’re making critical facilities updates, and we’ve added innovative programs while remaining fiscally responsible,” she said. “We are lucky to have him here.”

In another vote, Steve Meggitt was brought back to reprise his role as assistant principal at Steele High School on a one-year, $65,000 contract.

Meggitt had exited that position earlier this year, but the departure of principal Michael May left the board scrambling to fill leadership rolls at Steele. Joe Tellier, hired in May to serve as one of two assistants, has been promoted to head principal on an interim basis.

Also hired: Steve Shergalis was brought on as the district’s on-site representative to work with contractors on the Powers Elementary construction site on South Lake Street.

He’ll be a “a second set of eyes” for building and grounds superintendent Chuck Grimmett through September 2019.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

Superintendent’s contract extended through 2022

By Jason Hawk