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Avery is new school district business manager

The Somerset School District has a new business manager.

Bob Avery began duties as business manager for the School District last week. He replaces Jan Carlson, who resigned several months ago.

Avery worked in several school districts in the Madison area before making the move north to Somerset. The decision to move wasn't his. He previously worked at the Wisconsin Heights District for the communities of Black Earth and Mazomonie. It is one of the many districts in the state where enrollments are declining. The School Board was forced to cut several hundred thousand dollars from the budget, and Avery's position was among the cuts.

Avery worked as business manager at Wisconsin Heights for three years before his position was eliminated. Prior to working at Wisconsin Heights, Avery served as business services manager for the Sun Prairie district. At that time he was also going through the graduate program at UW-Whitewater. Before Avery was at Sun Prairie, he worked as the transportation director for the Stoughton School District for five years.

With his position in Somerset, Avery said he sees three distinct roles in his position:

-- to provide support for the staff and administration to get them the resources they need;

-- to get up-to-date information to the administrator and the School Board;

-- to report the fiscal status of the District to the community so the taxpayers know how their money is being spent.

This will be a transition time for Avery and his family. He is married with three children. His oldest daughter has graduated from the University of Minnesota and his son graduated this spring from Lodi High School. He and his wife also have a 7-year-old daughter who is entering second grade. Avery's wife runs a non-profit organization in Dane County, so he will be commuting on weekends back to the Madison area.

"I'd like to find a position I can settle into and there's a lot of good things happening here," Avery said about his move to Somerset.