Oakdale Joint Unified School District Assistant Superintendent for Business Tim Hern resigned from his post, effective Monday, Jan. 24. Hern accepted a position at Lodi Unified School District as the Chief Business Officer. The Lodi district is approximately five times the size of OJUSD, with 27,000 ADA (Average Daily Attendance).
“Tim has been an absolutely excellent employee,” Oakdale District Superintendent Fred Rich said. “Under his leadership and direction, we’ve been able to do significant projects.”
He added that Hern was instrumental in the oversight of building the junior high school gym, the Sierra View Elementary School, the OHS aquatic complex, and other major projects in the district. Rich also praised Hern’s money management.
“He’s managed to put the district in a very sound fiscal position, with adequate reserves to keep us healthy in future years,” Rich said.
Hern said that because the OJUSD board decided to go outside the district with a Superintendent search, he thought it would be a good time for him to look for other opportunities. He’s had offers to go to other districts over the years, but this was the right time for him to make a move. Hern has been with OJUSD for more than seven years.
“I’ve really enjoyed working here,” Hern said. “We’ve accomplished a lot for this educational community. Especially facilities – a lot of building, well over $60 million.”
Hern added that all the staff in the district and the board have been a great team to work with. Rich said that Hern worked exceptionally well with the district’s principals and other district staff, as well as treating people with respect and conducting himself with an air of professionalism.
In his new job as CBO for Lodi Unified, Hern will be directly responsible for Nutrition Services, Transportation, and will oversee a large staff to which some of the responsibilities he previously dealt with at OJUSD can be delegated. At Oakdale, his oversight also included Facilities, and Maintenance and Operations.
Hern is leaving Oakdale financially sound, especially when compared to other districts. On the surface, he said Lodi appears fiscally sound as well but it will be a challenge, as they will have to make large cuts this year like other districts. He said that with the state of California’s economy and uncertain state budget, school districts have to plan for the worst.
At the Jan. 24 regular meeting of the OJUSD Board of Trustees, Hern was in attendance and each of the board members praised him for his contributions to the district and leadership through major construction projects.
“Tim is a man of integrity and honesty. He solved problems and gave us solutions,” Rich said at the meeting.
Trustee Mike House said that Hern’s legacy was multiplying bond money, as well as his speedy and cordial tone with contract negotiations.
In a letter to staff, Superintendent Rich, who is set to retire at the end of this school year, said that the new superintendent will need to select his or her CBO/Assistant Superintendent of Business; therefore, Rich will not take measures to replace Hern, but will make adjustments to cover Hern’s responsibilities for the remainder of the year.
OJUSD administrative staff will divide up Hern’s responsibilities for now. Rich said that the district has a well-trained staff that can carry on well for a short period of time. Senior Director of Fiscal Services Susan Dyke was appointed as the interim Chief Business Officer, effective Jan. 25. Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Marc Malone will oversee the Directors of Maintenance and Operations, Transportation, and Food Service. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Barbara Shook will assume some of the miscellaneous administrative chores and will share Fiscal Services oversight.