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Madison-Grant hires new Director of Business Affairs

SMITH: Shaela Smith was hired as Madison-Grant's new Director of Business Affairs. She will begin her new position later this month.

BY HEATHER COX - hcox@chronicle-tribune.com

The Madison-Grant Community Schools Board of School Trustees approved the hire of a new Director of Business Affairs, who will take over the position later this month.

According to Superintendent Scott Deetz, Shaela Smith is a Marion resident currently working for Blackford County Community Schools and has worked for Marion Community Schools in the past.

Deetz said her work experience contributed to the board’s decision.

“Shaela has been working in school finance and school business operations since April 2004, which is a wealth of experience in the school business world,” he said. “So not only did we get an experienced person, but with her work ethic and personality she made for a great fit at Madison-Grant.”

Smith said she has worked just about every part-time position under school business departments - including payroll, bookkeeper and account specialist - before moving up to a full-time payroll position with Marion and then a deputy treasurer for the past three and a half years at Blackford.

She said those past positions have helped prepare her for her new position with M-G.

“With me actually dabbling in every kind of position there was, I can help my crew better. There’s just a lot of things I will know how to fix and troubleshoot and deal with day-to-day,” she said.

As the Director of Business Affairs, Smith will be responsible to manage the corporation’s business department, Deetz said, which oversees human resources, health benefits, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Deetz said he’s very excited about the new hire. He said he worked with the previous director for a long time and made successful adjustments through the years, so any time there’s a change in the helm of finances it can cause some uncertainty. But having someone take over with Smith’s caliber has calmed his anxieties, he added.

“I’m excited to see what she brings to the table,” he said.

The new hire was made shortly after the previous director of business affairs was hired by a larger school corporation in Jay County. Deetz said her last official day was March 1 and Smith will start on March 21.

He said this short gap of time gave them enough time to post the job, conduct interviews and give Smith enough time to give notice to her current job.

Smith said she’s both excited and nervous as she nears her new position, but she’s ready to be able to hand off her current position to the next person and get started at Madison-Grant.