WCPS finance officer announces retirement
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 13, 2014 1:46 PM
Wayne County Public Schools' finance officer since 1999 is retiring at the end of the month.
Nan Barwick, assistant superintendent for fiscal services, was hailed at the recent Board of Education meeting for keeping the district "financially sound" during a bleak economy and credited with her efforts during recent school construction and renovation projects.
"I have had the great fortune to work with Ms. Barwick as our district's finance officer since my start as superintendent in 2000," said Dr. Steve Taylor. "In addition to being a hard-working trusted employee, Ms. Barwick's diligence and understanding of school finance rules and categorical guidelines has helped ensure that our district maintains a high level of fiscal integrity year after year.
"I personally appreciate her loyalty in the district and her continued support of students and staff. As a district administrator, Ms. Barwick spends countless hours, both on and off the clock, trying to maximize every dollar in the budget in order to protect our schools from cuts to personnel, academic programs and extracurricular programs."
Being the 20th largest school district in the state, operating under a $169 million budget requires having someone in the role who is both knowledgeable and dependable, he said.
"You have to have someone that you can trust and someone that can get all the rules and guidelines, all this categorical funding that you have to figure out," Taylor said. "She's always done it."
Ms. Barwick began her career in education in 1984 as a bookkeeper with Kinston City Schools. In 1988, she became the finance officer for Lenoir County Schools and was named special assistant for business/finance for Jones County Schools in 1993.
She was initially hired by WCPS as finance director in 1999, before being promoted the following year to assistant superintendent of finance.
Through the years, her duties have expanded beyond fiscal operations, to include the child nutrition program, safety and security, the maintenance and operations departments, as well as the construction and renovation projects.
"Over the past seven years, Ms. Barwick has been instrumental in helping the Board of Education advance its school construction/renovation/performance contracting facilities plan," Taylor said. "In addition to helping advise board members about available funding options, she and her staff have provided oversight of the projects that have been approved.
"Once the two latest school construction projects are fully under way, the Grantham and Spring Creek communities will become direct beneficiaries of Ms. Barwick's tenacity and passion for improving the quality of our schools and our county."
Ms. Barwick is a native of Lenoir County and a graduate of North Lenoir High School. She holds an associate of applied science degree in accounting from Lenoir Community College and a bachelor's degree in accounting from N.C. Wesleyan College.
Taylor said Ms. Barwick has been a valued part of the district's leadership team.
"I feel very close to my staff. When they decide to retire, it hits me right in the heart, because I work with them on a daily basis," he said. "Ms. Barwick, I want you to know that I can't put into words the wonderful job that you've done. Your retirement is well-deserved. You will be sorely missed."