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posted: 5/30/2012 4:31 PM

District 300 names new CFO

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  • Susan Harkin

    Susan Harkin


A onetime employee of Community Unit District 300 will return to lead the district's financial operations.

The District 300 school board on Tuesday approved Susan Harkin as the district's new chief financial officer, replacing Cheryl Crates who is retiring June 30. Crates has spent almost eight years in the district.

Harkin is currently the chief financial officer in Crystal Lake Elementary District 47, a role she has held since 2009. Harkin, who beat about two dozen other candidates in the three-step selection process, will begin work this summer. A start date has not been determined.

"Susan was chosen not only because of her financial and leadership skills but also her natural ability to build effective relationships and passion to improve the quality education for all students," District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy said in a news release. "Susan facilitates rather than dominates, and she will be a refreshingly positive part of our new team."

Prior to her position in District 47, Harkin served as associate superintendent of Community Consolidated School District 62 in Des Plaines and was the business office manager in District 300 from 2000 to 2006. That previous experience in the district, as well as her status as a longtime West Dundee resident, "will hasten her ability to successfully take the helm as chief financial officer," the district release said.

Harkin, who initially applied for Crates' position about eight years ago, said she has been a resident of the district for 25 years and her six children graduated from District 300 schools.

"I am going back home and taking what I have learned from these other districts with me," Harkin said Wednesday. "I am excited to be back in District 300 and continue what I started and was involved in prior to working in the other two districts."

Harkin is among the most recent hiring announcements from the district. Earlier this month, the district approved Craig Zieleniewski as principal at Gilberts Elementary School and Colleen O'Keefe as chief legal counsel and human resources director.

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