FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2020
Hood River County School District announces retirement of Saundra Buchanan, chief financial officer
HOOD RIVER, Oregon — The Hood River County School District has announced that its chief financial officer, Saundra Buchanan, will retire at the end of the month. Her last day is June 30, 2020.
The district will begin actively recruiting her replacement beginning June 15.
Buchanan has been CFO of HRCSD for seven years. During her tenure, she worked to improve the financial condition of the district as well as increase its financial accountability and transparency. Under her watch, the district produced its first ever Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR), a detailed presentation of the district’s financial condition, including a thorough accounting of activities and balances for each fiscal year. The three CAFR’s produced during Buchanan’s tenure each earned the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO).
“I would credit Saundra with turning around the financial stewardship of this district,” said Chrissy Reitz, HRCSD board chair. “The trust our community has in us as a district has a lot to do with her financial transparency and oversight.” She noted the most recent school district bond levy, which voters passed by 76 percent. “That doesn’t happen unless you have someone who is proving that you’re doing a good job with their money.”
The district’s improved financial position was recognized by S&P Global Ratings in January 2019, when it raised the district’s underlying bond rating to “AA-“ from “A+” on its previously issued general obligation bonds.
In her letter notifying the district of her retirement, Buchanan said, “In my seven years serving the district, I have been fortunate to have worked alongside some of the best and brightest professional and support staff and we have accomplished much together.” She added that the district’s business services team “is strong and committed to the many process improvements we have implemented.”
Buchanan has agreed to work back with the district as a retiree until a suitable replacement is found.