Worried about loss of state aid, school business administrator announces retirement

Vernon. Steve Kepnes said his decision was influenced by the loss of education aid to Sussex County schools, which he fears will trigger “a local depression.”

Vernon /
25 Sep 2020 | 02:21

By Mike Zummo

Steve Kepnes, the Vernon Township School District business sdministrator, announced his retirement at the on Aug. 27 board of education meeting.

Kepnes, who has served as business administrator since February 2012, will serve until Oct. 16.

“This decision came in from reflecting on the state of the state,” Kepnes said. “It had little to do with Vernon, per se, but much to do with Sussex County. I am concerned, with Sussex County and the amount of state aid that it’s losing, could slip into a local depression. I worry about that.”

Kepnes, who doesn’t live in Vernon, said the COVID-19 pandemic and the chaos it created also contributed to his decision to retire.

Karen D’Avino who joined the district in September 2018, thanked Kepnes for his years of service to the district. He also received thanks and appreciation from Assistant Superintendent Charles McKay and other board of education members.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do without you,” D’Avino said.

“I wanted to say to this board and former boards, Vernon has been great to me, so I thank you, folks, individually,” Kepnes said. “I thank this community. I’ve been here for (almost) 10 years. I feel like part of my family is in Vernon. I have only positive things to say, but it’s a marathon sprint that needs to end for Steve Kepnes.”

It had little to do with Vernon, per se, but much to do with Sussex County. I am concerned, with Sussex County and the amount of state aid that it’s losing, could slip into a local depression. I worry about that.”