Shelton school district welcomes new finance director

Date:

SHELTON — The school district has its third finance director in the past two years. 

The Board of Education, at its meeting Wednesday, approved the appointment of Jacqueline Teulings as Director of Finance and Business Services. Teulings replaces Todd Heffelfinger, who first joined the district in 2021 and left the post on Oct. 2. 

“She will be bringing a wealth of experience and expertise that will undoubtedly benefit our district immensely,” said Superintendent Ken Saranich said about Teulings. 

“We are excited to leverage her expertise to ensure the continued financial stability and growth of Shelton Public Schools,” Saranich added. “Her comprehensive background in financial management and dedication to our educational mission make her a valuable asset to our district.” 

With more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, Teulings currently serves as the chief financial officer for the State Education Resource Center of Connecticut. 

“She has demonstrated her capabilities in a wide range of areas that are critical to our organization’s financial well-being,” Saranich said. 

Board of Education Chair Kathy Yolish said the district had more than 80 applicants for the position. From those, she said 26 were selected and reviewed and then narrowed down further over the course of several days. 

Teulings was one of several candidates who participated in interview sessions. The first round of interviews consisted of Central Office Leadership members and two Board of Education representatives (one from each party). 

Teulings was one of the two who made the final interview round with Yolish, Saranich, Human Resources Director Al Bruno and board Finance Committee Chair Jim Orazietti, Yolish said. 

“Jackie’s combined 30 years of experience in both municipal and educational environments guided us in making her our finalist for the position,” Yolish said. “We feel confident that Jackie will be an asset to our leadership cabinet and are anxious for her to join the Finance Department and the Shelton Public School System.” 

Orazietti agreed, calling Teulings a “great choice.” 

Teulings received her degree in accounting from Post University. She is the second finance director since Rick Belden retired in 2021. She enters the district only weeks after school and city officials learned of a nearly $2.8 million deficit for the 2022-23 fiscal year, according to numbers released by the city finance office in August. 

City Finance Director Paul Hiller told the Board of Aldermen at a meeting that month that a deficit in the school account had been expected, but not to this level. In July, the Board of Education had informed the city that its deficit sat at about $1.4 million. 

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