Leander ISD picked an experienced school finance expert Elaine Cogburn for its top business role, leading the budget, finance, payroll, and purchasing teams.

Trustees approved the hiring of Cogburn as the new chief financial officer during the Oct. 3 Board of Trustees meeting. She will be joining Leander ISD starting Nov. 4, replacing former CFO Lucas Janda, who joined a privately owned financial firm in July 2019.

“We want to hire life-changers at every level of our organization, and Elaine brings with her a reputation for supporting learning,” said Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D. “We are excited to welcome her to our Leander ISD family as we continue to support the needs of a fast-growth community, welcoming more than 1,000 new students every year.”

Bringing with her 23 years of school finance experience, Cogburn joins Leander ISD after serving Plano ISD as its Executive Director for Financial Services. Prior to her time in Plano, she served Dripping Springs ISD as its Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations for six years. During her time at DSISD, Gearing was the superintendent.

“I am very excited to join the Leander ISD team,” Cogburn said. “Across the state, Leander ISD has a stellar reputation for excellence. Our goal will be to support the visioning for education set by the Board, Dr. Gearing, and the community so our business team can make that dream a reality.”

The Leander ISD finance team has a reputation for stellar financial management, earning perfect scores on the state’s Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) report for at least the last nine years. Trustees adopted a $366.6 million operating budget for the 2019–20 school year, including record-setting compensation increases for all teachers and staff, as well as a 5% tax-rate decrease to $1.4375 per $100 value.

LISD voters approved a $454.4 million bond proposition in Nov. 2017 to fund growth projects, building improvements and safety enhancements across the 200-square-mile district.

Cogburn has worked across the state, including Lubbock, Frenship, Dallas, Grapevine-Colleyville and Mansfield school districts. A certified public accountant, Cogburn earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Texas Tech University. She also serves the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) as a board member.