By Denise Dick
The city school board has narrowed to four the list of finalists to replace retiring Treasurer William Johnson.
Johnson plans to retire in late July.
Lock P. Beachum Sr., school board president, said he expects the board will select Johnson’s replacement this month or early next month. Johnson has been treasurer since late 2007.
Eight people applied for the position through the Ohio School Boards Association. The candidates were interviewed before the list was narrowed, Beachum said.
A representative of the schools’ academic distress commission sat in on some of the interviews.
The four finalists are Teresa L. Emmerling of Massillon, treasurer/chief financial officer of the Massillon City Schools; Annette Harmon of Chagrin Falls, assistant treasurer of East Cleveland City Schools; Sherry Tyson of Boardman, Youngstown schools federal, state and local grants manager; and Mark Zimov, former treasurer/CFO of Madison Local Schools.
Beachum said good experience, professional background in a school treasurer’s office, knowledge to create a five-year forecast and being “proactive in offering methods of improving the financial picture” of the district are important qualifications for the next treasurer.
The district, which was released from fiscal emergency just more than a year ago, is again facing cuts. Reductions are necessary after the loss of $4 million because of higher-than-anticipated enrollment declines.
Everything from closing schools to reducing the student-to-teacher ratio to instituting pay to play has been discussed, and the board expects recommendations for reductions from Superintendent Connie Hathorn later this month.
The new treasurer must be able to discuss with the superintendent and staff the best types of budgeting, Beachum said.
“We want them to know the ins and outs in the operations in putting together a five-year forecast, to make suggestions of how to alleviate problems we’ve had in the past to prevent the recurrence of those types of problems,” he said.
A treasurer also must be able to work in harmony with the superintendent and the board to make suggestions for the financial stability of the district today and into the future, the board president said.
“He or she should be able to carefully review the financial status of the district and be able to make recommendations as to methodologies that could be used in moving the district toward financial stability,” Beachum said.
The successful candidate must have good communication skills to work with the board, superintendent and community at large in keeping all apprised of the district’s financial well-being.