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For a former superintendent just weeks into retirement, it's time to get back to work
News Staff Reporter
Retirement didn't last long for Thomas Ramming.

Less than a month after he retired as superintendent of the Grand Island School District, he accepted a job as interim assistant superintendent of personnel for the Orchard Park School District.

Ramming is stepping into the office left vacant earlier this month when Orchard Park provided Joseph P. Carney $68,000 in exchange for his resignation from the personnel position. It was the second time in two years that the district bought out its personnel administrator. David Gorlewski received more than $36,000 when he retired in 2004.

"Personnel has been an area of great turnover," Superintendent Joan D. Thomas said Wednesday. "I can't afford to have that keep happening. It's just not a good thing. I want [Ramming] to help straighten out that office so the next person that comes in can do the best job possible."

The Orchard Park School Board on Tuesday unanimously approved Ramming's appointment. He will earn $500 a day, plus mileage while on school business. Ramming is planning to work four days a week, Thomas said, and has agreed to stay in the district until the end of the calendar year. Today is scheduled to be his first day on the job.

He was the Grand Island superintendent for more than three years. Before that, he spent six years as Williamsville's assistant superintendent for human resources.

Orchard Park School Board President William Thiel hailed Ramming's expertise in personnel and said he was a "seasoned crisis manager."

Thiel and Thomas said they are hoping Ramming can get the personnel office running smoothly so his successor can step into a well-run operation. Before Carney left, his pay was cut 20 percent and his position was going to be downgraded to director of human resources.

Thomas has asked Ramming to recommend what should be done with the position on a permanent basis.

"We're pretty skinny. We've cut ourselves to the bone, and I worry if we've cut ourselves too deep," she said.

Beyond that, Thomas said she wants Ramming to assess personnel changes that have been made throughout the district the past few years.

"I want him to help us keep costs down but do things better," she said.