BROOKSVILLE — It's not a good time for a school district to be stranded in the economic jungle without a finance director.
But the Hernando County School Board may have just found its budgetary scout.
Officials said Tuesday they have offered the vacant post of finance director to Desiree Henegar, who currently serves as assistant budget director for Sarasota County Schools.
"We have made an offer, contingent on telephone reference checks, and she has accepted," said business services director Heather Martin.
Board members had fretted about the lack of qualified candidates to replace the much-praised Deborah Bruggink, who left the district for a new position in Alabama.
That shortage may have had something to do with their initial salary range of $66,572 to $75,650, well below the $92,568 state average for that position.
But last week the board tweaked the starting salary to $78,676, to improve chances of attracting and retaining someone with experience. And officials say they have landed a candidate who's up to the job.
"She has that background on the budget building process," Martin said. "(And) she is coming with a strong finance background. I think she's certainly qualified for the position."
Henegar, 43, earned bachelor's and master's degrees in accounting from the University of West Florida. She previously served as a finance manager for Manatee County schools, and as a public accounts auditor with the state's Office of the Auditor General.
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431.