Greene County CSFO interviews with Demopolis BOE

Published 2:46 pm Friday, March 25, 2011

Four candidates seeking to fill the presently vacant Chief Financial Officer for the Demopolis City School System faced an hour long interview before the Board of Education Friday.

Each candidate faced a battery 16 prepared questions.

Evelyn James, currently Chief Financial Officer for the Greene County Schools, was the second interview of the afternoon.

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Friday’s time before the Board represented a homecoming of sorts for James, who is a native and resident of Demopolis.

James worked with Vanity Fair for 20 years and with Demopolis City Schools before leaving to become CSFO of Greene County Schools.

Given the status of the General Fund and coming proration, each candidate was asked how they would balance a shrinking checkbook.

“The one thing that we normally look at first is your staff,” James said. “Because that’s where most of your money is spent. Not wanting anyone to lose jobs but most of the time you have to look at the non-tenured employees first. Then you look at support personnel. Then you look at expenses of prior years…What we want to do is not hurt the children in the classroom. We want to keep as much materials there, and the best teachers there, so that the system continues to advance.”

Also, at the conclusion of the interview, each candidate faced the obvious question: Why they think they are the best fit for the job.

“I have always been faced with challenges,” she said, “but I never had a problem because I led by example. When I went to Greene County as CSFO…I was faced with a challenge and I met it. Because I am in a smaller system it doesn’t mean my responsibilities as CSFO are any different from any other system. I am a product of this community. I know the people here, I live here…I’m a product of this school system.”

James also noted experience dating back to 1997 using the accounting software currently used by Demopolis City Schools.