By DAVE GYMBURCH Staff writer

John E. Joy Elementary School Principal Andria Lacey will be absent from the building for a "period of time that is yet to be determined," said Rome district Superintendent Jeffrey P. Simons, who would not specify the reason. Simons said today he has arranged for Naz Fiore, a former longtime principal in the district who is retired, to fill in for Lacey on "an interim basis" that began Friday and is expected to continue at least through Monday after students return from Thanksgiving recess. The recess this week begins Wednesday.

Lacey’s absence is a "personnel and personal matter," said Simons, who would not elaborate. She has been principal at Joy School, 8194 Bielby Road, for about nine years and is a tenured administrator, he added.

The Board of Education has been "advised regarding the arrangement" for Fiore to fill in, said Simons. Board President Patricia Riedel referred questions to Simons when asked about the situation at Joy. Lacey could not be reached for comment.

Lacey "is the principal at Joy," and "at this point we anticipate she will return," said Simons. He said "we have not determined how long" Fiore would be a substitute principal at the school or "determined a date" on which Lacey would return to "her assignment as Joy principal".

Fiore, whose background in the district includes being a former longtime principal at Stokes Elementary School, would be paid about $500 per day, said Simons. He said the only board action that he anticipates may be needed would be to appoint Fiore for a longer-term period if something beyond a "day-to-day arrangement" becomes required. Lacey’s return is anticipated.