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Interim team hired to run Algiers charter group finances as budget process looms

Just head of the budgeting process for the coming fiscal year, the Algiers Charter Schools Association is looking to hire both a new chief financial officer and a comptroller, chief executive officer Adrian Morgan told his board of directors at their monthly meeting in late April.

Charlie Mackles, the association’s former chief financial officer, has moved to the InspireNOLA charter network, which he assisted financially during the past year as the Alice M. Harte Elementary Charter and Edna Karr High School transitioned from the Algiers network to InspireNOLA. And the association’s former comptroller Caren John is going with him.

To fill the gap, Morgan said two veteran administrators will come back to the Algiers group on an interim basis. One of them is Stewart Gay, a former chief financial officer with the Algiers net. A member of Afton Partners, a firm specializing in charter school finance, Gay will focus on the budget. Former KIPP chief financial officer Michael Dunn, now with 4th Sector Solutions, another firm specializing in charter school consultations, will handle the organization’s audit and day-to-day finances. Morgan said he hopes to have a permanent team in place by August.

Morgan lauded the interim finance team. “I feel confident that we’re well prepared,” he said.

Tracy Mercadel, director of site services, said that maintenance and custodial services are being put out to bid. Board member D’Juan Hernandez asked Mercadel what plans had been made to assure minority participation. Mercadel said he has considered breaking up some of the contracts into school-by-school jobs, making them more manageable for smaller businesses. Each contractor will be asked for city certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, if eligible.

Board members Hernandez, Colin Brooks, Nicole Sheppard, and James Henderson, Jr. attended the meeting. The next meeting will be June 26 at McDonogh 32 Literacy Charter School.

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