Shelby County Schools announced today that Alicia Lindsey, who has been the district’s interim chief financial officer since Sept. 2013, is now the permanent CFO.
Lindsey headed the district’s financial operations during a series of school closings and dramatic budget cuts this year. Next year is likely to bring more of the same, as the state-run Achievement School District continues to take over additional schools in Memphis and the district adjusts to the existence of six new school districts in the Memphis suburbs. School system officials have suggested that more dramatic changes to the district’s budgeting process, including bringing more decisions down to the school level and cutting at the central office, are possible, especially as the charter sector in the district continues to grow.
Shelby County Schools has been looking to fill some key positions on its cabinet, including CFO, chief academic officer, and chief communications officer, for the past several months.
From the district’s press release:
“Ms. Lindsey has continually demonstrated exceptional leadership and knowledge in managing the District’s finances over the past year despite numerous pressures and financial obstacles related to the merger and municipal separation,” [Superintendent Dorsey] Hopson stated. “I believe she has been instrumental in positioning SCS for success with the development of a balanced and responsible budget that, above all, invests the most possible resources for our students. I am excited about Ms. Lindsey’s future with the District.”
Since becoming Interim CFO in September, Lindsey moved SCS to a 100-percent direct deposit payroll system to promote financial security and savings for employees. In April, she instituted a virtual card payment system, which provides a 1-percent rebate on all payments for vendor services. The project has generated roughly $200,000 in revenue in the first three months. As part of the District’s ongoing commitment to teacher and leader effectiveness, Lindsey has also been directly involved with efforts to create a strategic career pathways and compensation system for educators.
In the year ahead and beyond, Lindsey and the Finance team will be charged with aligning the budget to the newly adopted 80/90/100 strategic goals, as well as managing the District’s footprint in the community, from a financial perspective, as the local education landscape continues to evolve.
Lindsey previously served as Director of Budget & Fiscal Planning, both for legacy Memphis City Schools and the unified school district, from April 2009 through September 2013. She spent nearly 15 years prior with Shelby County Government, including the positions of accounting supervisor, investment manager and accounting manager for the Trustee’s Office, budget controller and manager of grants accounting and revenue.