Thursday, November 01, 2007

Seattle Public Schools names CFO - Seattle PI


Don Kennedy has been hired as the chief financial and operations officer for Seattle Public Schools, joining the district's new superintendent, with whom he previously worked.

The role combines responsibilities that had been split between two jobs. Kennedy will oversee the district's business operations, including enrollment and planning, facility services and capital projects. He also will supervise the district's finance department.

Since 2004, Kennedy had been the chief financial and administrative officer for the Charleston County School District in South Carolina, the district previously headed by Seattle's Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson. He began his career as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, and later worked as a training analyst, instructor and finance manager for Boeing. His first day on the job was Thursday.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Dr. G-J is bringing in new blood and I hope it infuses new ideas and thoughts on how this district can do better. I'll be particularly interested in what Mr. Kennedy thinks of the capital projects.

Charlie Mas said...

Here's the story on the same topic from the Times:
CPA to fill 2 posts at school district

Seattle Public Schools has appointed a chief financial and operations officer, filling two top jobs at the district with one person.

Don Kennedy was the chief financial and administrative officer at the Charleston County School District in South Carolina. He started in Seattle on Thursday.

Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson headed that district before starting her job in Seattle in July. Kennedy replaces former Chief Operating Officer Mark Green and former Chief Financial Officer Art Jarvis, both of whom have recently left the district to take other jobs.

Kennedy, a certified public accountant, will oversee many parts of the district's operations, including capital projects, enrollment, facilities, finance, information technology and planning.

Before working in school districts, Kennedy held various financial-management positions at Boeing, including one in Seattle. He also worked for Science Applications International in Reston, Va.

Babbie said...

As someone familiar with Kennedy's tenure in Charleston as financial director, I must say that you have my condolences. I suggest you investigate just how much Kennedy's previous jobs prepared him for the one he had in Charleston or the one he has now.

Anonymous said...

Dr. G-J sure seems to be bringing in all of her people from Charleston. I hope it is for "new ideas and thoughts," but this little voice in the back of my mind wonders if it is to have people in place that will march in lockstep with whatever she says.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Babbie on this one. Kennedy was seldom prepared to answer questions on his feet. He frequently uses old data for comparisons if it will make a position he favors seem more reasonable. He is definately a loyal team player.

Anonymous said...

cronyism (also croneyism) noun [mass noun] derogatory the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority without proper regard to their qualifications.

Anonymous said...

Hey now, bringing in TWO people isn't exactly cronyism or "all of her people", and if you read prior threads, those of us who actually live in Seattle think highly of the one we have gotten to know so far, Mr. Tolley.

SPS parent said...

I think it's time for regime change in Seattle. I also think bringing in experts from another state and district will bring a new perspective and energy to Seattle. I am excited at the opportunity to have a fresh start. I like DR. G-J and think that the people she brings with her are the cream of the crop!

Anonymous said...

Since you asked: Michael Tolley's move was a genuine loss for Charleston and it appears to be gain for Seattle. He was a good fit as head of the Academic Magnet High School. At his age (mid-career) it's quite logical that he would accept an opportunity to move up, especially if it broadens his already excellent professional experience. He has both the talent and the intellect needed to advance and do well no matter where he would choose to work. He's a team player but he's not a sycophant.

Anonymous said...

Northeast Mom said:
......I like DR. G-J and think that the people she brings with her are the cream of the crop!

[at comment #3 above]
I suggest you click on babbie's name to get to her profile and then select the link to her blog "The Newsless Courier".

Charlie Mas said...

northeast mom wrote:

"I like DR. G-J and think that the people she brings with her are the cream of the crop!"

I think it would quiet some anxiety and give us all confidence to learn what you know about these people to support your belief that they are "the cream of the crop".

Charlie Mas said...

I will say this. A common question asked, when checking employment references, is "Would you hire this person again?"

It is certainly complimentary to see that, in these cases, the answer is clearly "Yes!"

Anonymous said...

Holding some high positions and moves myself, I can tell you that when I chose someone to bring along with me, it was because they were fantastic, I knew their ability, they had the experience, and I could count on them.

I am optimistic that these two will complement Dr. G-J.

I like Mr Tolley thus far. Think he's fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Michael Tolley and Don Kennedy are two very different individuals. To be fair, judge them independently. Keep in mind their specific job objectives which are also very different. How they came to Seattle may be one of the few things they have in common.

Anonymous said...

The person who knew Kennedy was right and this district is in for a ride. The CFO is not who everyone is hoping he will be. However, we all hope she replaces Carla Santorno now with a real leader.