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Former school treasurer will return to position


LORAIN - John Coffman will reprise his role as interim treasurer for the Lorain school district next year.

Coffman`s appointment was approved by the school board Monday night. He will replace Treasurer Ryan Ghizzoni, who will step down at the end of the year to take a similar position with Fairview Park Schools.

In early spring, Coffman replaced outgoing Treasurer Jim Estle upon his resignation. Coffman was replaced by Ghizzoni, who was hired full time in April.

It was Coffman, a retired school treasurer, who first noticed discrepancies in Estle`s financial projections for the district, said incoming school board member Jim Smith. Coffman then put an immediate freeze on purchases by the district until the mess could be understood, Smith said.

When Ghizzoni dug deeper, he discovered that the district was nearly $5 million in debt and would face a deficit topping $15 million in 2008 if drastic measures weren`t taken. As a result, more than 240 teachers were laid off this summer, in addition to the elimination of fine arts and physical education from most elementary schools and shortening the elementary school day by 45 minutes.

"He`s a good man," Smith said of Coffman. "He`ll do good work here."

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