New Faces of GJSD: District Office
Over the next few weeks, we’d like you to be able to meet the new staff members and teachers who have recently joined the Greater Johnstown School District. We start this campaign by introducing you to some new faces in the District Office, located in the Knox Building.
Alicia Koster joined the Greater Johnstown School District in August as the new Assistant Superintendent. She brings nearly 25 years of experience to the position, having worked in public education with expertise in strategic planning, finance, business, capital project development, as well as the management and oversight of daily district operations.
Koster is a member of the New York State Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS) and participates on three committees – curriculum and instruction, federal legislative and the cabinet committee, which cultivates professional development programs for assistant superintendents statewide. Koster is married with two daughters, Jordan and Kenzie, and has three furry children (Button, Ollie, and Tazi), and enjoys reading, biking, and running.
Brian Gidley joined Johnstown this summer as the Director of Technology, after spending eight years in the technology department at the Shenendehowa School District. He has two degrees from the University of Albany – a BA in political science/economics and an MS in information science. Outside of school, Gidley has spent 20 years coaching youth hockey and jokes this is his “first year of retirement” from coaching. Gidley also currently is an adjunct professor at HVCC teaching the Cisco Networking Academy curriculum. He is passionate about helping students move into the workforce and spends time with them on resume creation and interview preparation. Personally, Gidley says he has a “family of five with four pets.” In his downtime, he likes to travel all over North America for hockey and will be going to his first outdoor game in Nashville this winter. Gidley is “looking forward to sharing knowledge and expertise (and my sense of humor) with the Johnstown community!”
Steven Soto is the District Treasurer and Chief Accounting Officer for GJSD. Soto holds an associates degree in business administration and is currently completing his bachelor’s degree in accounting. Soto oversees and performs the major accounting activities for the district and has shared oversight responsibilities for business office processes. He graduated high school from neighboring district Fort Plain. Steven jokes that when he’s not working, he’s usually “acting as a chauffeur” for his two children.
Jeanine LoDestro is the administrative assistant for both the Curriculum & Instruction department and Information Technology department at GJSD. She earned a BS in marketing from Ball State University and worked in the pharmaceutical industry in sales and training for nearly 20 years before joining Johnstown as a teaching assistant. LoDestro currently is the JV field hockey coach for Johnstown and also serves as co-advisor for the class of 2025. She is a Johnstown graduate (‘95) along with her husband Joe (‘92), who currently is a member of the GJSD Board of Education. The LoDestros have three children who attend Johnstown – Lucy, Gage, and Hope. Outside of school, LoDestro is an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnstown. With any down time, she likes to travel and spend time with family.
Kimberly Dopp joined the Greater Johnstown School District as a Human Resources Administrative Assistant from the Gloversville Enlarged School District where she worked in HR/payroll for seven years. In her HR role at Johnstown, Dopp assists new employees with the onboarding process, serves as a liaison with the employees health insurance providers and informs current employees about wellness opportunities. She has a degree in early childhood from SUNY Cobleskill and is a certified exercise instructor through NDEITA. Dopp is a huge health advocate and is an instructor at Hale Fitness, Fit Happens and YMCA. She and her husband Eric have a daughter Jaeden, a yellow lab Ceilia and a bunny named Rosa. “I love helping people, sharing my knowledge, and keeping an open mind to learn new things daily,” Dopp said.