GJSD and Wheelerville Union Free School District to share business and human resource services

Bonnie Turnbull hired as new District Treasurer at GJSD

a woman wearing a black shirt and glasses smiles

Bonnie Turnbull

The Greater Johnstown School District (GJSD) and neighboring Wheelerville Union Free School District (WUFSD) have jointly announced that the two school districts will enter into an agreement to share business and human resources services, to be effective January 1, 2024, after the Boards of Education for both districts officially voted on the shared services agreement in special meetings this evening. The announcement is highlighted by the hiring of Mrs. Bonnie Turnbull as the new District Treasurer at GJSD, who previously served in the same capacity at WUFSD.

Both districts will enter into a three-year agreement, with the opportunity for annual evaluation to assess effectiveness and the option for either district to terminate the agreement at any time. 

“I want to be very clear that this does not mean there will be a merger of Johnstown and Wheelerville schools into one school district. No mention of merging our Districts in any other capacity is under consideration, and both school districts will continue to maintain their own identities,” Superintendent of GJSD Schools William Crankshaw said. “This is simply a cost-saving measure that allows two districts who are already good neighbors, to share expertise, resources, and staff.”

Currently, WUFSD is a K-8 school district with 34 staff members. Once Wheelerville students graduate eighth grade, they attend high school in Johnstown.  “We are enthusiastic for this collaboration, which will only strengthen the solid relationship we already enjoy,” said Crankshaw.

“We have a very long-standing relationship with the Greater Johnstown School District, and they’ve proven to be excellent partners over the years,” Superintendent of WUFSD Schools Nicole Dettenrieder said. 

“For years, we’ve operated our business/human resources department with just one person, but now we will be able to tap into the expertise and skill set of an entire department of six professionals at GJSD,” Dettenrieder added. “Besides being a cost-saving tactic for our district, the best part of this arrangement is that we will be able to continue working with Mrs. Turnbull, who truly is irreplaceable.”

GJSD’s Assistant Superintendent Alicia D. Koster explained that the opportunity to share services came about organically and was not something either district necessarily initiated. 

“Johnstown had an opening for a District Treasurer, and Mrs. Turnbull expressed interest in the position. Given her financial and business management experience, she emerged as the candidate we wanted to hire,” she explained. “It has been extremely difficult to find qualified candidates for positions like this in today’s job market. We both quickly realized that Mrs. Turnbull’s institutional knowledge of WUFSD, and the enhanced resources and expertise that GJSD can offer makes sharing services a logical and mutually beneficial solution for both districts,” Koster said.

Some of the key areas that will be shared in the agreement are payroll, accounts payable, accounting and fiscal management, budget, personnel and benefits, state and federal reporting, fiscal-year end audit, reporting, and financial statement issuance.  

“GJSD and WUFSD are excited about this opportunity to share services among both districts and look forward to our continuing partnership on behalf of our students and school communities,” Koster added.

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