The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 17, 2013

Swanner set to become county school board finance chief


Board interviewed 3 candidates

The Limestone school board interviewed three candidates Tuesday, including Greene County Schools CSFO Christopher “Shane” Martin and Birmingham City Schools accountant Tieasha Abdur-Rasheed.

The board asked each candidate 10 questions tailored to their backgrounds, management style and school finance experience.

Abdur-Rasheed of Odenville interviewed first and said she believes in “leaving my desk clear every day, even if it means getting done at 7 or 8 (p.m.).”

She said she served as the lead person for the Birmingham system’s federal funds and worked closely with principals.

Abdur-Rasheed, who utilized a PowerPoint presentation during her interview, has eight years of governmental accounting experience and is pursuing her doctoral degree. But she has limited experience as a supervisor, dealing with school bids and financing building projects.

“I am a team player, loyal, ethical, about getting the job done …” said Abdur-Rasheed. “Keeping children first — that’s the main goal. Children are the future, and we’re here to support them.”

The Limestone system, which has an $89.9 million operating budget, is in the midst of a $26.1 million capital plan. The system also recently submitted to the state a long-range capital plan, or five-year wish list, containing $66.6 million in possible school projects.

Martin interviewed second and impressed board members with his straightforward and confident demeanor and experience as a state auditor.

“My goal is to help the system and not necessarily my personal agenda,” Martin said. “I’ve only been CSFO for two years, but I have seen quite a bit.”

At least one board member said Martin could be considered as a candidate when Swanner’s contract ends, since she is pursuing her master’s degree and plans to teach college classes within the next five years.


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