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Veteran school business manager selected for Norwich school position

Norwich — The current school business manager in Lebanon was named as the new business manager for the Norwich school district, Superintendent Kristen Stringfellow announced Saturday.

Robert Sirpenski was the unanimous choice between the two finalists interviewed by Stringfellow and Assistant Superintendent Tamara Gloster. A third finalist withdrew from consideration, Stringfellow said. Sirpenski will start in Norwich on March 29, three weeks after the school board is expected to vote on its proposed budget.

His salary was not available Saturday. The job posting listed the position with a salary range of $135,000 to $140,000.

Former Norwich School Business Administrator Athena Nagel resigned Jan. 31, days after she was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by Stringfellow into undisclosed allegations. The Day has requested any completed investigation documents, but school officials thus far have said there are no documents responsive to the request.

Sirpenski, a Norwich native, has served as Lebanon school business manager since 2015, and prior to that was director of finance and operations for Waterford schools for two years, and director of school and town finances for Preston from 2011 to 2013. He served as first selectman in his hometown of Voluntown from 2013 to 2017.

“It’s great to go back to where my education began,” Sirpenski said Saturday, “and Dr. Stringfellow is an outstanding administrator.”

Sirpenski grew up in Norwich, attended the John B. Stanton Elementary School, Kelly Junior High School and Norwich Free Academy, graduating in 1972.

In her announcement, Stringfellow described Sirpenski as a seasoned school business manager who also has corporate finance experience.

The district received 20 applications for the position. First interviews were conducted by a panel that included Norwich City Comptroller Josh Pothier; Sandra Kuchtka, a finance director; and Mary Ellen Murano, a human resources director.

c.bessette@theday.com

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