Lake Bluff School Board names new Director of Finance and Operations (1)
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At its Tuesday, February 25 Regular meeting, the Lake Bluff District 65 Board of Education named Jay Kahn as its incoming Director of Finance and Operations. Mr. Kahn will replace Jane Lair, who will be retiring in the 2014-2015 school year.

Mr. Kahn, a Deerfield resident, is currently Director of Fiscal Services for Round Lake Area Community Unit School District 116. He was previously Assistant Business Manager for Oak Grove School District 68 in Green Oaks. He served an internship in Finance in Deerfield School District 109.

Before entering the field of school finance, Mr. Kahn had a career in business, having worked at companies including Hewitt Associates, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble.

Mr. Kahn studied School Business Administration at Northern Illinois University. He holds an MBA-Finance degree with honors from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, where he was an Edmund J. James Scholar.

At the Round Lake Area Schools, Mr. Kahn implemented financial controls and new procedures to help the district maintain a good position as it recovered from financial troubles that had led to a takeover by the State.  He oversaw day-to-day operations and investments for the large unit district, as well as the financial aspects of foodservice and transportation.

Mr. Kahn reports that he changed careers in search of more fulfilling work. “I had grown tired of the corporate focus on meeting Wall Street’s short-term expectations,” he explained. “School districts focus on the long-term and see returns over many years. That appeals to me, and being asked to do more with less is a challenge that I enjoy.”

“I am looking forward to working in Lake Bluff – it’s a great community with very involved and engaged families, and high performing students. I envision staying in Lake Bluff for a long time,” he said.

“The Board and I were impressed with Mr. Kahn’s solid business background,” said District 65 Superintendent Dr. Jean Sophie. “He has a deep understanding of school finance and operations, combined with significant real-world business experience.”

I am excited to join Dr. Sophies team, Mr. Kahn said. I know that making finances available and transparent to the community are very important. In addition, some of my priorities will be to simplify operations and make them more efficient, and to ensure that we are providing a high level of service to the staff.” 

Mr. Kahn and his wife, Jodi, have a son in the Deerfield Elementary schools, and a pre-school daughter.