Mark Stotts portrait.

District 196 Superintendent Mary M. Kreger announced the hiring of Mark Stotts to be the district’s new director of finance and operations.

Stotts comes to District 196 with 24 years of experience in school finance in Minnesota. After spending the first 10 years of his career as a certified public accountant, pension manager and financial controller, Stotts was hired as the director of finance and operations for Albert Lea Area Schools in 1994. From 2006 to 2009, he held a similar position with the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District, and for the last nine years he has been the executive director of finance and operations for the Austin Public Schools.

Stotts will replace Jeff Solomon, who is retiring in January after a 30-year career in school finance, including the last 15 years as the director of finance and operations for District 196.

“We have an award-winning finance department with a history of conservative budgeting and fiscal transparency, and a record of excellence in financial reporting,” Kreger said. “We are grateful for the leadership Jeff Solomon has provided our district and thrilled to be able to hire someone with Mark Stotts’ experience and understanding of school finance and school district operations.”

Stotts starts with District 196 Nov. 12. As director, he will be responsible for an annual operating budget of more than $370 million and a total annual budget of nearly one-half a billion dollars. In addition to supervising the Finance Department, Stotts will oversee the district’s facilities, food service, purchasing/receiving, technology and transportation departments.

“I am extremely excited to join a district with such an outstanding reputation as District 196,” Stotts said. “I hope to contribute to the ongoing support of programs that provide opportunities for student success, while maintaining the excellent reputation for financial management that the district has achieved.”

Stotts has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and earned a master of business administration degree in management from the University of St. Thomas, where he has served as an adjunct instructor in the graduate college of business for the last 21 years.

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