Administrative assistant ratcheting up efficiency

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NEW SHARON – Dan Gazette has gone from typing contracts on a typewriter to scanning documents onto his computer in the last 16 years.

Gazette, of Farmington, is the SAD 9 administrative assistant to Superintendent Michael Cormier.

“I’ve seen it change a lot over the years,” Gazette said. “The first year I was here, I was typing teacher contracts on a typewriter and then after that we went to computers.”

It wasn’t a hard change, he said, and the longtime district employee continues to learn new ways to be more efficient and save money for the school district.

Gazette recently sent out an e-mail to board members, administrators and others alerting them that documents containing board meeting minutes and computation and declaration of SAD 9 budget votes will be attached to future e-mails. After working through the usual electronic snafus, material will be disseminated much more efficiently and quickly. It will save money in paper, postage, envelopes and copying and computer time, Gazette said.

“It has left more time for other things,” he said.

He has been able to add more duties to his job, such as tracking teachers’ sick leave, administrators’ vacation leave, and some account payouts.

He’s working to send out the agenda electronically as well, he said. Even the school calendar is going out to staff members by e-mail as well as the district’s in-house newsletter.

Gazette moved with his partner to Farmington from Washington, D.C., nearly two decades ago to take care of a family member.

He had worked as a civilian for the U.S. Navy coordinating material for submarine overhauls before he took the SAD 9 job.

“I like the stability of the job. It’s close to home. It’s a good crew to work with. We’ve all been here a long time. We’ve worked together a long time.”

Gazette said he’s enamored by the Farmington area.

“I like rural. I like quiet,” he said. “I can look out my living room window and see Route 27 and the colorful fall foliage.”

“I like what Farmington has to offer,” he said, including the University of Maine, arts and medical communities. “I know people from all the communities … I think that Farmington has that small-town feeling, which is wonderful.”

At 2:16 p.m. Wednesday, Gazette sent out another one of his e-mails and this time the SAD 9 board minutes were attached, promptly revealing the actions of the board the night before.

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