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WJC Schools hires new chief financial officer

JAMES CITY -- Just as school budget season is beginning, the Williamsburg-James City School Division has hired a new chief financial officer.

The WJC School Board unanimously approved the hire during Tuesday's meeting, appointing Christina Berta to the post starting Jan. 5.

According to a Wednesday morning announcement from WJC Schools, Berta comes from Isle of Wight Schools. Isle of Wight said in a release that it would begin the search for her replacement in the coming days.

Berta will replace former WJC chief financial officer Terry Stone, who resigned in September to take a similar position with Henrico County Public Schools. Stone, who also serves on the King William County Board of Supervisors, was with WJC for a little more than one year before leaving.

In a statement, Berta said her departure is “a bittersweet moment.” “This was a difficult decision as I have truly enjoyed working with my wonderful colleagues, but this new position is also an amazing opportunity to advance my career,” she said.

Berta is likely to see a pretty hefty pay bump after the move – she was set to earn a salary of $101,500 this year as Isle of Wight’s the finance director. As CFO for WJC Schools, Stone earned $137,204 in during fiscal year 2014.

Berta was promoted to the top finance spot after previous director Phillip Bradshaw abruptly quit in March 2013 for what he later told the Daily Press was family health issues. Berta will continue to provide guidance for Isle of Wight County Schools throughout the upcoming budget process, according to the release.

According to her résumé, which was provided to the Gazette by the WJC school division, Berta holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Catawba College and a master’s degree from Strayer University in human resources. She joined Isle of Wight in May of 2011 as manager of financial services, and worked her way up to become executive director of budget, finance and operations. She previously served as a senior accountant for Portsmouth Public Schools and as an investment analyst for the City of Chesapeake treasurer’s office.

WJC Schools superintendent Steven Constantino said in an email to the Gazette that he is “very pleased that we have found Christina and that she will join our division.”

“She comes to us with excellent experience and credentials,” Constantino said. “We have a top-notch financial team and I am confident Christina will provide us excellent leadership in this area.”

Isle of Wight Superintendent Katrise Perera called the move a loss for the school system’s leadership team. Berta’s departure is the latest in a series of administrative moves since spring of 2013 that has seen three principals and four high-level administrators leave the school system over the last year and a half.

Murphy can be reached by phone at 757-247-4760. Sampson can be reached at 757-345-2345.

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