By Lynn Monty, Editor in Chief
Longtime Williston resident Jeanne Jensen, now of Hinesburg, is serving the Champlain Valley School District as chief operations officer, replacing Bob Mason. After a long career in engineering at IBM/Global Foundries and serving more than a decade on the CVU and CSSU school boards, Jensen is excited for the new school year to begin.
She will manage “just about everything except the actual educating of children,” she said. This includes finances, human resources, transportation, food service, facilities, construction and information technology.
Jensen will be working closely with Superintendent Elaine Pinckney, the Finance and Facilities Committee of the school board, and Mark McDermott, CVSD’s new human resources director. “He has been a good friend through our common school board service, and I couldn’t get through the day without his support,” she said of McDermott.
Last school year was a transition year with the seven separate school boards working parallel to the consolidated Champlain Valley School District (CVSD) board. “The people serving on the new school board are a talented and dedicated cohort, and those of us on staff are working hard to get them the information they need to govern effectively without inundating them with more than they can handle as volunteers,” Jensen said. “I’m sure we’ll find a good balance.”
The biggest challenge this year is delivering a consolidated operational and financial system, Jensen said. “Our schools are used to operating independently, and we need to bring the support functions together in order to meet our financial goals.”
Toward that effort progress was made over the summer with the maintenance team from Champlain Valley Union High School stepping in to complete several projects at Charlotte Central School, Jensen said. “In addition, our facilities director at Shelburne will now be overseeing the Charlotte campus as well. We need to do more of this district-wide resource sharing.”
Jensen said this career transition will allow her to combine her passion for public education with her professional skills. “It’s very exciting to have a job you can’t wait to get to each morning,” she said.
As for new career goals she said they are “to successfully fill the big shoes of my predecessor, Bob Mason, and to make the board and the superintendent successful in their goals.”