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Chief Financial Officer Sharon Ozment to Retire
It is becoming unusual to hear a story of an employee quietly and modestly moving up the ladder, spending the entirety of his or her career in one organization. But this is the story for Chief Financial Officer Sharon Ozment, who announced she will retire on June 30, 2012 after nearly 40 years of service to Guilford County Schools (GCS).
Upon her high school graduation from Page High, Ozment became the Xerox operator in media services for Greensboro Public Schools, now GCS. During the years that followed, she continued to devote her skills in numerous roles to support public education. She moved from Xerox operator to accounting technician to interim treasurer to budget analyst. Then, she took on management roles, including supervisor of financial accounting, director of financial accounting and executive director of financial accounting.
For the last 12 years, she has served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), overseeing the district’s financial operations, which is now more than a $680 million budget. She develops short- and long-range budgets, including the Board of Education’s annual budget as well as the comprehensive district annual budget.
“During my time working with Ms. Ozment, I have come to rely on her expertise, calm-natured manner and astuteness,” said Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green. “When the school district was affected by the economic crisis, her dedication to students and staff proved even more unwavering, working diligently with others to cut the allotted funds so it would minimally affect employees and students. We are grateful for her service, and wish her well in this next chapter.”
While providing information, advice, assistance and recommendations to the superintendent, Board of Education and County Commissioners, Ozment directs and monitors the Financial Services Division operations, which includes 10 departments: accounting, accounts payable, budgeting, courier services, payroll, print shop, purchasing, school nutrition, fixed assets/risk management/textbooks and the MWBE (minority and women-owned business enterprises) participation program.
In February of 2008, Ozment was named the co-interim superintendent, while still serving as the district’s CFO. Under her leadership, as well as co-interim superintendent Eric Becoats’, $457 million in school bonds were approved by county voters, and the appointment of Superintendent Green was made after a national search.
Ozment has brought the district prestige and a positive reputation through numerous financial reporting awards from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada and The Association of School Business Officials International. The GFOA also awarded the Finance Department and Board of Education with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its annual budget for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 2000 through July 1, 2011.
While working, Ozment completed an Associate’s Degree in Accounting from GTCC in 1983, and in 1991, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Economics from Greensboro College.
Ozment has served on the Board of Directors for the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), which is a human relations organization dedicated to fighting bias, bigotry and racism in America. She is currently serving as the Board’s treasurer, and has designed and created financial worksheets for the organization that have simplified the finances for staff. Sharon also cares about the issues the organization stands for, and in her spare time, will volunteer to be on the front line, participating in events.
Ozment serves as an Elder for her church, Presbyterian Church of the Cross (PCC). She serves as the President of the PCC Corporation, and has also been active in the church’s women’s organization, serving as president at one time. She helps lead volunteer efforts such as providing food and serving meals at Pathways, and assists families in crisis by providing resources.
Ozment will be recognized for her service at a reception on June 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Page High.