The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 17, 2013

Swanner set to become county school board finance chief

Crunching numbers, deciphering financial coding and balancing budgets are not commonly referred to as enjoyable tasks, but Ann Swanner is atypical.

Following her 40-minute interview for the chief school finance officer job on Tuesday, a bright-eyed and energetic Swanner described the job as “fun,” and said she had decided to apply for the position after originally planning to only serve as interim CSFO.

“I like to share (information) with everyone that’s involved with the school system,” said Swanner during her interview. “You have to think outside the box, and you can’t be static.”

The News Courier polled board of education members prior to last night’s special meeting, which took place after deadline Thursday. A majority of the seven-member board indicated they would vote for Swanner as Limestone County Schools’ new finance chief.

She has been interim finance officer since Sept. 1 after former CSFO Jonathan Craft took the same post with Hartselle City Schools.

Swanner, a Tanner resident, is the former finance chief for the Limestone system, serving from 1984 to 1997. Since then she has taught school finance classes at the University of Alabama Superintendents’ Academy, worked for a private accounting firm and consulted for the state Department of Education.

“We’ll make a job offer to one of the three candidates (Thursday), and the chair, (Marty Adams), will negotiate a contract,” said Earl Glaze, vice chairman of the school board. “I think one of the candidates stood out in my mind. I think Mrs. Swanner is by far the most qualified.

“I think she’s done a good job as the interim (CSFO), and she’ll tell  you how she sees it. I think she has done a good job of explaining the budget and with anything else that has come up.”

Board member Anthony Hilliard said he thought the screening committee gave the board a high-quality pool of finalists. The school system whittled 22 applicants down to five before choosing the final three.

“I think everyone was impressed with the candidates,” Hilliard said. “Mrs. Swanner is just the strongest candidate of the three we interviewed, and she has been a CSFO before.”

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