Sumter School District has a new chief financial officer.
Certified public accountant Chris Griner has accepted the position, according to a district spokesperson. Griner will earn $140,000 in his new position with the district. His first day with the district will be July 17. Sumter School District Board of Trustees participated in the interview process and approved of Superintendent Frank Baker's recommendation, according to the spokesperson.
Griner comes to Sumter from Gainesville City School District in Gainesville, Ga., where he has been the district's CFO for the last two years. According to its website, the Gainesville City School System was one of the first four charter school districts in the state and earned its charter status in 2008. The city school system has about 8,000 students.
Before his post in Gainesville, Griner spent four years from 2011-15 as executive director of finance with Barrow County School System in Winder, Ga. According to its website, that district is also a charter school system in the state and has about 13,600 students, ranking 27th largest of the state's 180 school districts.
Before moving into the field of school finance, Griner spent 19 years in public accounting and private industry. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting.
There were three finalists for the Sumter School District CFO position in the interview process. The other two finalists were Shereca Anderson and Joseph Graham.
Sumter School Board's financial consultant Scott Allan also participated in the interview process with Baker. Allan was hired by the board in January after the December release of the fiscal year 2016 audit report revealed the district overspent by $6.2 million last fiscal year and had an ending general fund balance on June 30, 2016, of $106,449 – a critically low level, according to the district's auditor.
Through implementing an emergency financial plan in January and with Allan's help, the district is projected to end this fiscal-year cycle on June 30 with a more than $1.1 million surplus. That surplus will later be moved directly into the district's low fund balance and not be used in next year's budget, according to the district.