Brandywine finance head leaving

Published 11:35 pm Friday, December 17, 2010

Brandywine Superintendent John Jarpe and members of the district’s board of education found themselves in need of a new director of finance after current director of finance and operations, Sue Furney, submitted her resignation to the board Monday night.

Sue Furney

Furney has accepted a position of business manager for the Escanaba School District. She has been with the Brandywine district for more than five years.

“It’s one of those deals where the position became available, it was right in the area where we have been vacationing for years,” said Furney, who added she had not necessarily been looking to leave the district. “It wasn’t that I was looking to move, it just worked out perfectly.”

“We were definitely surprised,” Jarpe said. “We didn’t know that was something that would take place during the school year. It kind of catches us a little bit there.”

One of the highlights of Furney’s work within the district is a successful bond election and ensuing construction project that upgraded the district’s facilities. She also successfully managed the district budget through recent years of cuts and the recession in Michigan.

This leaves the district searching for a replacement capable of handling the intricacies of school district budgeting.

Jarpe said he would post the position internally and externally looking for a candidate “with background in school finance, budgets, setting budgets, working with budgets, working with various people in the school setting, understanding how school accounts work and the Michigan budgeting system.”

The school office “is a little bit different” from the standard business office, he added.

Looking for a replacement to replace Furney before her last day, Jan. 21,” is “definitely a bit of a crunch,” Jarpe said, “but it’s doable.”

Furney and her husband, Bob, have reportedly long had a goal to move to the Upper Peninsula. Furney stated she is sad to leave Brandywine but eager to move and work in the area where she and her husband have wanted to live.

Prior to her work with Brandywine Community Schools, Furney has worked within the Grand Rapids and Potterville school districts and also previously owned her own business.

Jarpe accepted with regret Furney’s resignation on behalf of the board of education.

Furney said she would leave the district “with mixed emotions. I’m happy to be going to an area where I have, for a long time, wanted to live, but I really enjoy Brandywine. I really enjoy the people I work with there. It’s really been a wonderful experience.”