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BHUSD Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Accepts Position at LACOE

After a decade with the district, Alex Cherniss is moving on to the Los Angeles County Office of Education.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Alex Cherniss is leaving the Beverly Hills Unified School District to become the chief business officer at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), the regional body that oversees the district. 

Cherniss is generally well regarded by school board members and parents, and his departure leaves big shoes to fill. He oversaw everything from the  to the . Cherniss is also credited with first noticing financial irregularities among the records of former facilities director , who was convicted Nov. 21, 2011 of four felony conflict of interest counts related to charges that she secretly arranged to be an independent contractor while performing her duties as facilities director.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [for me] and is really a reflection of the great work we’ve been doing in Beverly Hills,” Cherniss told Patch. “The Board of Education has established systems that will ensure daily business operations will continue to operate effectively and efficiently.”

Cherniss began his career at BHUSD 10 years ago as a math teacher at before becoming the principal of  and then moving to the district office as the head of human resources. He assumed his position as the assistant superintendent of business services about 18 months ago.

As the LACOE CBO, Cherniss will oversee the budgets of 13 community colleges and 80 K-8 districts, including the BHUSD. LACOE is the largest regional educational agency in the country, according to its website. It administers an annual budget of $753 million.

Board President Brian Goldberg said the move offers a silver lining for BHUSD because Cherniss is familiar with  funding, under which a district is financed by local property taxes rather than the state. BHUSD is the only basic aid district in Los Angeles County.

“While this is a tremendous loss to the district it will be helpful to have a CBO at LACOE reviewing our budgets who understands basic aid. This will be a first for LACOE,” Goldberg said. “It is a real compliment to our district that LACOE aggressively recruited Dr. Cherniss. I am confident that the team we have in place will be more than up for the task of continuing the great work begun during Alex’s tenure.”

Those who will be assuming some of Cherniss’ responsibilities after his departure include Mary Anne McCabe, executive director of fiscal services, business consultant La Tanya Kirk-Carter and the District Finance Committee. will discuss a transition plan for Cherniss’ position at the next board meeting on Feb. 28. Cherniss’ last day with the district has not been decided.

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tony calhoun February 24, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Isn't Dr Cherniss and the rest of the administrators under long term contracts? why would the school let him walk out the door in the middle of the school year?
roger February 24, 2012 at 06:47 PM
contracts in school education are really one sided. administrators beg for multiple year deals (for the security) but then they turn around and leave if they get a better offer. its a win win for the administrator and a lose lose for the kids/school (because they're stuck with them in a long term deal if they stink at their job).
jimmy stein February 24, 2012 at 07:15 PM
if they are willing to give an administrator a multiple year contract (which is a smart business move) than they need to hold administrators accountable to that contract.
marika condon February 24, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I know Dr Goldberg, there must have been a reason why he let him go. My guess is that it was his reward (Dr Cherniss) for accomplishing so much.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD February 24, 2012 at 09:22 PM
It was not a matter of letting him go, this was his choice and I respect his decision but it has made me rethink multi year contracts going forward. I do not plan to vote for any additional multi year contracts unless they include a buy out clause that the employee has to pay the Districf. I agree with the previous comments that the current system is one sided but the Board has the ability to change that.
david February 24, 2012 at 09:59 PM
goldberg - this is why i voted for you because you always 'man up'. go change that 'one sided' thing and put in that 'buy out'. great idea! (seems very fair)
Brian David Goldberg, PhD February 24, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Thank you! This whole situation has forced me to rethink how we agree to these contracts
concerned parent February 26, 2012 at 01:38 AM
"push your boss for a 3 year contract (get it) and then walk out on him a year later". IS THIS THE LESSON WE ARE TEACHING OUR CHILDREN? Dr Cherniss is a good young man and has done a fantastic job for our children but someone needs to remind him that he's (also) a role model. Dr Goldberg, Mr. Manaster amd Mrs. Korbatov please hold him accountable just like you have everyone else. Show our children that you expect the adults in our school district to fulfill their contractual obligations to our children.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD February 26, 2012 at 04:24 PM
This is a catch 22 for me, we do not want to force people to stay who do not want to stay but on the flip side I agree about making committments. The Board will be discussing during our closed session on Tuesday and I am sure your points will be raised. In the meantime I will no longer voting for one sided multi-year contracts. Lesson learned.
keith February 29, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Always something interesting going on in the district, never a dull moment for Mr. Goldberg & the board.
Brian David Goldberg, PhD March 02, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Agreed, never a dull moment :)

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