Kettering schools treasurer leaving district for Warren County ESC job

Kettering City Schools Treasurer Cary Furniss is leaving to take a new job at the Warren County Educational Service Center.

Furniss said the job at the ESC is an opportunity to step out of the K-12 school district finance mold he has been working in for 35 years. Working for the Warren County ESC would mean more of a business model, he said.

“It’s a change I’m ready for all these years,” said Furniss, who will begin working at Warren County ESC on June 1. He lives in Lebanon.

Kettering Schools Superintendent Mindy McCarty-Stewart said she had been informed of Furniss’ decision to leave Thursday and plans to begin working with the school board to find a new treasurer.

“We wish Mr. Furniss the best as he pursues this new employment opportunity and thank him for the work he has done over the past year-and-a-half to strengthen the district’s current financial status and its financial forecast looking into the future,” McCarty-Stewart said.

Furniss said Kettering is a great community and school district. He’s been employed at Kettering Schools since December 2021.

“I regret the timing,” Furniss said. “I would never leave Kettering for another K-12 school.”

During his tenure as treasurer, Kettering passed a new 5.99-mill property tax levy for daily operations, expected to generate an additional $8.7 million per year. That levy costs a homeowner $209.65 annually per $100,000 of home value. This was a permanent levy, meaning it will not go back before voters again for a renewal vote in the future.

Furniss said he was proud of that accomplishment and said the treasurer job at Kettering Schools was “a great job.”

Furniss previously served as the treasurer of Kings Local Schools, Reading City Schools, Lebanon City Schools, and Mason City Schools.

“I’m excited to be working with one of the brightest and most accomplished school treasurers around,” said Tom Isaacs, Warren County ESC superintendent. “He’s a treasurer that other school treasurers reach out to when they need help. He’s also a school treasurer whose input is valued by county auditors and state representatives.”

Isaacs said the Warren County ESC board granted Furniss a five-year contract, the longest permitted by Ohio law, and he will receive an annual salary of $175,000.

Current Warren County ESC treasurer/CFO Alleyn Unversaw is stepping down on April 30. Isaacs said he’s “losing a great partner” in Unversaw, who has been with the ESC for eight years and has completely automated the fiscal department of the agency. He said Unversaw is going to open a consulting business to assist other school districts with automation.

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