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CFO resigns from IDEA Public Schools

3 months 5 days 8 hours ago Thursday, July 16 2020 Jul 16, 2020 July 16, 2020 6:26 PM July 16, 2020 in News - Local

IDEA Public Schools CFO Wyatt Truscheit resigned on Thursday.

Superintendent JoAnn Gama announced the news Thursday afternoon in an email to IDEA employees.

"I think it's best that I get right to the news I need to share with you today: IDEA's chief financial officer (CFO), Wyatt Truscheit, is retiring," Gama wrote, according to a copy of the email released by IDEA. "Wyatt submitted his resignation this afternoon, I accepted it, and he is no longer an IDEA employee."

Truscheit is the second high-level administrator to leave IDEA during the past three months.

After questions surfaced about how IDEA spent money — including plans to lease a private jet and the purchase of San Antonio spurs tickets — CEO Tom Torkelson resigned in April.

As part of a "CEO Transition Plan Agreement," the IDEA board agreed to pay him $900,000.

Gama and Torkelson started IDEA in 2000. During the next two decades, IDEA became a nationally recognized charter school system with campuses across Texas.

When she announced Truscheit's resignation on Thursday afternoon, Gama reminded employees of the recent controversy.

"All IDEA officers and employees, from the leadership team and our board of directors to our campus staff, must continue to hold ourselves to a high standard, with no exceptions," Gama wrote. "IDEA has been in the spotlight too often recently for practices of executives, and not for our scholars’ accomplishments and the tremendous work our teachers and staff have done serving our scholars and community during an exceedingly difficult time for schools."

Gama said she would ask an independent auditor to conduct a review of IDEA.

"IDEA's Board recently adopted new, comprehensive financial policies and established an internal audit department and board audit committee. IDEA has strong systems of checks and controls to ensure we are operating appropriately throughout our large organization. However, no system is perfect, so being committed to continuous review and improvement is essential," Gama wrote in the email. "To further facilitate this work, I will be directing an independent auditor to review all departments and functions so we can be certain that IDEA is functioning as proper stewards of the funds and resources we are entrusted with."

Two administrators, Senior Vice President of Financial Planning Leanne Hernandez and Senior Vice President of Finance Carlo Hershberger, will serve as acting co-CFOs.

"I am determined to lead IDEA Public Schools in a way that's consistent with our values and the high expectations that so many have for us. I will be prioritizing that same mindset in our next CFO—and in every member of my leadership team," Gama wrote in the email. "All of us at IDEA have an obligation to uphold public trust in our work and our operations, and we must hold one another accountable."

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