August 29, 2015

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VWSD hires new financial director

Published 11:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Vicksburg Warren School District will have a new financial chief for the first time in more than 20 years next month.

Shaquita Burke, who is currently the business director for the Greenwood Public School District, will take on the position of Vicksburg Warren School District financial director July 1.

Her hiring is in response to the retirement of Dale McClung, who held the position since 1988.

“I’m looking forward to a new challenge,” she said.

Though Burke is moving from Greenwood, she was previously a senior accountant at DiamondJacks Casino and has familial ties to Vicksburg.

Her husband, Earl Burke, is a Vicksburg native and graduate of Vicksburg High School. He is also the financial director for the Hinds County Public School District.

Chad Shealy, superintendent of the VWSD, said Burke’s overwhelming qualifications combined with her ties to Vicksburg made her an appealing candidate for the position.

“She had almost 20 years experience in accounting,” he said. “The other thing is … that there’s a connection deeper than just the job. Some of her roots are here and we try to hire people that are invested here.”

The bulk of Burke’s financial services background stems from her 14 years with IBM in various capacities.

Her years with IBM were preempted by a six-year stint with the Mississippi Department of Education in its financial division.

Burke said her experience in both the public and private sectors has equipped her to deal with a wide array of financial issues. Moving from the private sector back into school finances was not a difficult transition, she said.

“I have an extensive background in state government, so it wasn’t completely new to me. The newest part was more on the policy end of it,” she said. “Each school district is different, so even though we still have a lot of mandated policies and procedures from the state, you still have your own board’s policies.”

“Most of the things that are different here is a matter of semantics,” she added.

Having managed IBM accounts that topped $100 million while also being successful, as a public school business director will make her a valuable asset to the district, Shealy said.

“We’re getting much more than we’ll be investing,” he said. “She’s got that private-sector experience working for a multi-million dollar corporation.”

Burke graduated from Provine High School before receiving a bachelor’s degree of accounting and master’s in business management from Jackson State University.