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Myers Looks Back At Dozen Years With School District

Bensalem business boss retiring this month.

After a dozen years, the man with the money ties is leaving.

Jack Myers, who joined the as director of business operations in 2000, will complete his final contract June 30 and retire.

"I'm mentally tired," he said recently while sitting amid dozens of stacks of papers strewn about his office.

"I've had a long career filled with real success, in particular in the last year, of which I'm proud."

"When I arrived, the district was not financially stable," said the 62 year old when asked to elaborate. "Now we have a $30 million fund balance, much of which is in committed reserve."

That reserve is critical at the moment as the district embarks on upgrading , which is more than 40 years old.

"The district had spent no money on buildings besides the construction of Cornwells Elementary since the early 90s," he also said in a reference to his district  arrival.

Myers said other accomplishments include the rehabilitation of all of the other district schools and reducing utility costs in part by installing three geothermal systems. His most recent pride comes from this spring's settlement of four collective bargaining agreements including a six-year deal for teachers.

"I think that was borne out of trust and understanding," he said.

Before coming to Bensalem, Myers worked 26 years for the Philadelphia School District, the last dozen years as director of financial planning and analysis. That's when he started wearing ties with financial themes eventually including a big red pencil. Today he has about a dozen.

Myers says he still gets calls seeking advice from Philly and plans to be on call like that for Bensalem. He also played a role in helping the district find his replacement, Kenneth Medina, who was hired last week.

Superintendent Dave Baugh is grateful for Myer's work.

"Jack has been an integral part of the team that has helped guide this school district over the last 12 years to fiscal good health," he said. "Jack's thinking out of the box has allowed us to maximize energy savings, bring three geothermal fields on line, renovate almost every school and position us for success with the high school renovation.

"His legacy will include numerous bond upgrades, implementing numerous savings programs and energy reductions and leaving the district financially healthier than when he walked in the door."

The time for retirement also is good for Myers since his wife, a Philadelphia teacher, is doing the same. He said he and his wife will do some traveling, including a trip to Europe as part of his fascination with geneaology research. And the northeast Philly resident will be budgeting his other spare time much closer to home.

"I'll be doing some work outside the house in our garden," he said.

Those dozen ties may be retiring too.

"I haven’t decided whether the money ties will retire as well," he said. "One suggestion was that they could be made into a wall display."

Information provided by the Bensalem School District.

P2YA June 22, 2012 at 02:57 PM
"His legacy will include numerous bond upgrades, implementing numerous savings programs and energy reductions and leaving the district financially healthier than when he walked in the door." AND ANNUAL TAX INCREASES while some other districts manage to hold the line at least every once in a while. New person or not, I doubt anything will change. Bensalem Schools has an ingrained culture on spending beyond what taxpayers can afford.

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