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Schools name money manager

Deborah Bruggink, who oversaw finances for Pasco County schools for nearly a decade, has been selected for a similar job in Hernando County.

Superintendent Wendy L. Tellone said she hired Bruggink as the district's new chief financial officer, a crucial job that entails overseeing the district's balance sheet at a time when school officials are scrambling to build schools to serve the county's exploding population.

"She came with great references from superintendents," Tellone said.

Bruggink, 52, is taking over some of the duties handled by Carol MacLeod, Hernando's executive director for business services and finance director. MacLeod is leaving Hernando to assume a similar job in Hillsborough.

Bruggink will assume fewer responsibilities than the ones MacLeod handled. School officials said they decided to entrust the finance director with just district money matters in part because that aspect of the job now consumes so much time. Bruggink will technically work under Heather Martin, who has just become the district's new executive director of business services.

Bruggink could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting, an MBA from Florida State University and is a certified public accountant.

When she applied for the Hernando job in December, Bruggink was working as the chief finance officer for the Jefferson County School Board. She has also held positions with the state Department of Education and worked as an investigative auditor for Florida State University's office of the inspector general.

But Bruggink is familiar with the region. Between 1988 and 1997, she worked as director of finance for Pasco County schools. According to her resume, Bruggink handled a $350-million annual budget and reduced costs through contracting for major services.

She left that job to move closer to her husband's parents.

In her cover letter, she wrote that she is eager to "seek employment in west central Florida again where we have lived since the '70s."

Abhi Raghunathan can be reached at or 352-848-1431.