West Middlesex schools business manager to retire | Local News

WEST MIDDLESEX — A longtime employee of the West Middlesex Area School District will be retiring at the end of this school year.

Business Manager James Hughes, who has served with the school district for 11 years, will retire effective June 29. His resignation was submitted and approved by the school board at their April 25 meeting, according to school documents.

Describing Hughes’ service as “exemplary,” Superintendent Raymond Omer said superintendents and business managers often work closely together, with him and Hughes working on various projects from grant writing initiatives to security measures.

Omer also said the two had maintained a “great relationship” over the years when working on various projects, and were able to come to solutions even in cases where the two didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye.

“In the end, we always do what’s in the best interests of the school district. We’re going to miss him,” Omer said of Hughes.

In terms of a replacement, Omer said school officials were looking for someone with “relative experience,” with a preference for candidates that were CPAs or CPA-trained.

Any candidates must also be prepared for the complexities of managing not only the district’s finances and accounting, but developing a district-wide budget and serving as a liaison with the Department of Education.

In the past couple years alone, Omer credited Hughes with handling the district’s Elementary and Secondary School Relief grant funds, an HVAC project and a roofing project, along with the added complications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s a lot to it,” Omer said of the position.

School officials are advertising in Allegheny, Mercer and Lawrence counties, as well as the Mahoning Valley area. The first round of interviews are expected to begin Thursday.

Omer said the school board hoped to have an applicant by their May or June meetings, ideally to give the new business manager some time to work with Hughes and learn about the job.