McGarr named top school business official

SOCSD Chief Financial Officer Tammie McGarr, left, and Superintendent Eddie Peasant. McGarr was named School Business Official of the Year by the Mississippi Association of School Business Officials. (Submitted photo)

Staff Writer

She’s responsible for all of the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District’s funds, and she’s just been honored for excellence in her role.

On Wednesday, the district’s Chief Financial Officer Tammie McGarr was named Outstanding School Business Official for 2019 by the Mississippi Association of School Business Officials. McGarr received the award at the organization’s annual spring conference in Jackson. She came to school finances six years ago after spending more than 17 years working in the Office of the Mississippi State Auditor. She is a Eupora native and Mississippi State University alumna.

“I was very, very honored,” McGarr said. “Surprised, but very honored.”

McGarr said the award originated from a nomination by Superintendent Eddie Peasant and the school board. She said she had no idea she had won the award until her name was called. She said Peasant referred to her overhaul of accounting procedures and establishing an incremental income control to protect district assets. He also said McGarr was an effective communicator. This was McGarr’s first time to receive the award.

“I would like to thank Dr. Peasant and the board fornominating me for this honor, and I could not do he things that I do without my staff,” McGarr said.

In total, six people work in the district’s business office.

“I’m very blessed to work there,” McGarr said.

Under McGarr’s watch, the district’s fund balance has grown to $10,036,930, or 22.45 percent of its revenue. Last year was also the firstschool year the district did not need to file a tax anticipation note.

“I’m just really excited and elated for her and our district,” Peasant said. “I think that she is amazing at her job, and is well deserving of this honor.”

Peasant said she was one of the only district CFOs in the state, if not theonly one who has been with a district for all of its existence.

“She came in with our district, and has really worked to clean up our finances and grow our finances in the district over the past five years, in a way just creating efficiency in that department, which is extremely important for our school district.”

He also emphasized the importance of McGarr’s role in the district.

“There are lots of things that are involved with school budget and school finance with the law and, things that are required to be financially stable to support itself and operate in a way that’s best for student success," Peasant said.