November 29, 2022

Donalds Hobby

World Finance Reviews

Haas taps Hartford School finance director for WNESU | Local News

WESTMINSTER — An experienced school finance director who currently works for the Hartford School District has been hired to work for the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union.

Superintendent Andrew Haas has hired Jim Vezina, and said Vezina is already working with the business office for the Westminster-based four-town school district. His official start date is May 1.

“Jim brings a lot of experience and specific experience with Vermont. We had a few resumes and Jim’s experience with Vermont and larger multi-district SU was desirable. We are looking forward to the experience he can bring,” Haas said Monday via email.

Vezina replaces Flora Pagan, who resigned in December 2021 after being placed on administrative leave by Haas following a sharply critical management letter from the schools’ financial audit firm, RHR Smith.

Haas said that Vezina will be paid $105,000 a year.

The Windham Northeast Supervisory Union financial offices have been in turmoil for a number of years, and hit a low point with the auditor’s letter this past December, and the departure of Pagan. Since then, numerous large mistakes have been uncovered in the district’s overall financial record keeping, although there have been no reports of missing money as the audit firm makes its way through the district’s financial records.

Two weeks ago, for instance, Haas announced that the Rockingham school district had a large surplus, since the business office had failed to include in the 2021-22 budget revenue from $874,000 in tuition payments to students attending Bellows Falls Middle School. A total surplus of $1.8 million is forecast for the current Rockingham school budget of $10.7 million.

Since Pagan’s departure, Haas brought in temporary help, including a retired school finance manager from northern Vermont, and focused on getting 2022-23 budgets ready for voters.

Vezina has an extensive resume of working with many school districts in the Upper Valley.

In Hartford, where he has worked since 2012, he was business administrator and was in charge of strategic planning, financial management, handling contracts and negotiations, human resources, and a federal grants manager.

Before that, he was interim superintendent and finance director for the Newport, N.H., school district, and has worked for school districts in Keene, N.H., Lebanon, N.H., Enfield, N.H., and West Lebanon, N.H.

He also worked in private industry for Creare in Etna, N.H., both general manager and manager of quality assurance.

Vezina received his degree from Lowell Technological Institute in 1972, and also graduated from Vermont Technical College in 1969, and also attended classes at the University of Vermont. During his career, he also was a member of the Windsor School Board and the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union.

Vezina couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.