Retiring top schools treasurer found inspiration from mother

As a youngster in rural, southeastern Ohio, Jenni Logan remembers fondly sitting in a tiny school office with her mother watching as one of the then-few female school treasurers in the state diligently handle the finances of their neighborhood district.

Many of the lessons of hard work, financial exactitude and perseverance were passed silently during those times.

And decades later as a rare, second-generation school treasurer, those experiences served Logan well as she rose in prominence as one of Ohio’s premier school treasurers, ending her public service career as the top financial officer for the state’s ninth largest district – Lakota Schools.

Friday was an emotional day for Logan as she is now retired, leaving the 17,000-student district she has helped steer through financial storms and challenges since joining the district in 2011.

As the former Ohio Treasurer of the Year winner walks out the Lakota Central Office for the last time, her deceased mother’s memory of professionalism strides with her.

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“My mother’s successful career as a school treasurer was influential on my own career decision. She tried to talk me in to becoming a school teacher, but I was always a little stubborn and didn’t listen,” Logan said smiling at the memory.

“Being a second-generation treasurer has allowed me to not only respect this position through my eyes, but through that of my mother as well. Having that connection with her and being able to have her as a mentor was priceless.”

Lakota officials said Logan’s contributions since 2011 are also incalculable.

Lakota Board of Education President Lynda O’Connor was among the members who hired Logan in 2011.

“Mrs. Logan is a strong, well-respected, and highly professional leader who will be sorely missed,” said O’Connor.

“She came on board as Lakota’s treasurer at a very challenging time for the district and she has been key in restoring the district’s financial stability.”

“I think some of her greatest strengths are her belief in transparency and accountability to our taxpayers and her ability to communicate financial information in a relatable way,” she said.

Matt Miller, Lakota’s superintendent since 2017, echoed O’Connor, noting Logan’s many accomplishments - including being one of eight school treasurers chosen in the state, among more than 600 treasurers, to help consult with state officials as they radically revamped Ohio’s laws for the Fair School Funding act now in place.

“Jenni Logan has been a blessing to Lakota Schools and our community. Her dedication to this district and our taxpayers is evident through her commitment to fiscal responsibility,” said Miller.

“Under Jenni’s leadership, Lakota has achieved 10 years of balanced budgets, has received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction for eight consecutive years and has achieved one of the highest bond ratings from both Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s.”

“She has been a champion of school finance not only for Lakota, but throughout Ohio – including being named Ohio’s Treasurer of the Year,” he said.

“Jenni has always led with a student-first mindset. She is known for thinking outside the box and finding a way to fund a program that will benefit our students’ education.”

Logan will be replaced starting Monday by Adam Zink, who has been Lakota’s assistant treasurer with Logan for eight years.

Retirement for Logan will finally see her lift a foot off a career’s accelerator pedal that saw her speed through stints working in the private finance industry, county government and for the last quarter of a century for public schools.

“My first goal is to spend more time with my family and travel more.”

“We do have a family business and I’m already being recruited to play a more active role there. And I do have various consulting work lined up as well but mostly I’m trying to take my time and not commit to too much. Life is too short and I am blessed.”

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