International Eagle Award Recipient
Doug Virgil, Ed.D., SFO
Assistant Superintendent for Business Services
Alhambra Elementary School District No. 68
Through excellent fiscal management practices, attention to detail, and an innovative approach to issues, Doug Virgil has navigated fiscal challenges to ensure the district’s students have the high-quality programs, services, and support to ensure their academic excellence. For example, he developed ongoing maintenance plans to include facilities and fixed assets, resulting in modern, well-maintained facilities that have been held up as examples for other Arizona districts. In addition to an improvement in the overall financial status of the district, under Virgil’s fiscal leadership, the district added 129,000 square feet of new construction without the use of any district bond funds or funds from the state school facility board. He also developed an energy savings program that annually saves the district more than $300,000 annually.
Distinguished Eagle Award Recipients
Vincent J. Christakos
Assistant Superintendent, Business Services
Hemet Unified School District
During his 20+ years in school business, Vincent Christakos has made quite a mark. For example, in addition to helping design a fully integrated information management system, he developed the financing structure to build a central kitchen facility that is now self-supporting. His leadership on environmentally friendly projects includes installation of a district-wide solar energy system across 17 schools and the district office at no cost to the district. The system saves the district $400,000 annually in electrical costs. He also implemented comprehensive conservation programs that save the district $2 million annually—funds that are being put back into the classrooms.
James R. Westrum, CPA, SFO, RSBA, CSRM
Executive Director of Finance and Business Services
Wayzata Public School District 284
The 2013 Minnesota School Business Official of the Year, James Westrum is described as a leader committed to operational excellence in school business. In addition to working with legislators to develop state legislation that supports district objectives, for example, he developed a plan to finance and accelerate the completion of more than $100 million in deferred maintenance projects, more than $12 million in building additions, and acquisition of 36 acres of land without the need to seek voter approval and without a tax impact on the community. Capital improvements and financing strategies have allowed more than $1.1 million of annual general fund resources to be redirected to student instruction.
Morgan County Schools
Berkeley Springs, WV
Nancy White has established herself as someone who puts the students at the center of every decision she makes. Her focus on reducing all costs that don’t directly impact students and their achievement has allowed major technology purchases totaling $1.3 million since 2007—purchases that are crucial to education in this rural area of West Virginia. Within the past few years, the district has been able to upgrade the technology infrastructure, including increased bandwidth, advanced network switches, and wireless campuses. Along with these improvements have come increased test scores, attendance, graduation, and college-going rates for the seven fully accredited schools in the district.