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Cedarburg — Leadership in district schools, a commitment to professional development and active participation within his profession and the community have earned Ben Irwin a state award.

Irwin, who is the director of business services for the Cedarburg School District, was named the 2017 “New School Business Manager of the Year” by the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials on Jan. 19.

“Mr. Irwin brings extraordinary knowledge of the school funding systems along with a practical sense of dealing with day to day financial issues,” said Cedarburg Superintendent Todd Bugnacki. “He is a creative problem solver who makes decisions that are in the best interest of the students while also balancing the interest of all stakeholders.”

The award was presented at the State Education Convention in Milwaukee and recognizes his efforts while he served at the Parkview School District prior to his work in Cedarburg.

There, he worked for four years as a business manager while simultaneously attaining his Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations (SFO) certification.

“It really is an honor to be recognized, particularly considering I was nominated by my former superintendent,” said Irwin, who has been with Cedarburg since July.

“Service, respect, accuracy and openness are a few of the characteristics that define Mr. Irwin’s leadership,” said Steve Lutzke, Parkview School District Superintendent, who nominated Irwin for the award. “Mr. Irwin’s attitude and demeanor demonstrate that his role is to serve the students and staff in the district, and he instills a calm confidence into the business office.”

The move from Parkview brought Irwin back to the area where he grew up, and he said the transition has been a smooth one so far.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time (in Cedarburg) so far and look forward to seeing what we can accomplish in this high-performing district,” said Irwin, who will receive a $1,000 cash award for continuing education as part of the honor.

“We are fortunate to have Mr. Irwin, who has established himself as one of the best new business officials in the field,” Bugnacki added.

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