The search for a new Director of Finance for Clinton City Schools has ended with the board’s approval of someone from the Bladen County Schools system.
According to Dr. Stuart Blount, superintendent for Clinton City Schools, the board has approved the hiring of Susan Harrison, who will begin in the new position today. The position of Director of Finance became available after Clyde Locklear left the position in September for Cumberland County Schools.
Harrison was previously employed with Bladen County Schools, and according to Blount, came highly recommended by Dr. Robert Taylor, current superintendent for Bladen County Schools, and a former employee of Clinton City Schools.
“Her level of expertise from Bladen County in the many facets of the finance department, made her a great fit for Clinton City Schools,” Blount said during a telephone interview Monday morning.
Harrison was previously the assistant finance officer for Bladen County Schools. She was employed with the system for nearly 15 years at an ending salary of $55,934, including benefits. According to Blount, she was hired with Clinton City Schools at a salary of $47,736 and a total package of $55,486.
Blount made the announcement of Harrison’s hire during the board’s work session last week when he recognized Nan Barwick for her service and dedication to Clinton City Schools over the last three months. Barwick was hired in September, following a closed session meeting, to fill in for the loss of Locklear. Barwick is retired from Wayne County Schools.
Blount said Harrison has a great deal of knowledge managing payroll, employee benefits and the budgeting system — all important aspects of a finance department.
“She came highly recommended,” Blount said about Harrison. “Dr. Taylor spoke very highly of her.”
Locklear’s leaving didn’t come without an effort to keep him employed for the school system he had worked for nearly 30 years. Before his departure, Blount made a recommendation to the board to increase his salary in an effort to keep him as a school employee.
The board had previously demoted Locklear from associate superintendent to director of finance, all with a pay cut. In addition to the salary increase for Locklear at that time, the superintendent asked board members to extend the contracts for associate superintendents Dr. Mark Duckworth and Terrace Miller.
Locklear, who is the associate superintendent of business operations for Cumberland County School, left Clinton City Schools for a salary of $135,000, replacing Ricky Lopes, who retired from the system.
Cumberland County Schools is one of the largest systems in the state. Locklear is managing 21 employees, 87 schools and a $412 million budget.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.