CCSD Expresses Gratitude to Outgoing CFO Channa Williams, Welcomes Interim CFO Jacquelyn Carlen

March 02, 2023

Charleston County School District (CCSD) expresses deep gratitude to Ms. Channa Williams for her dedicated service to its students, staff, and community. Ms. Williams recently announced her departure from CCSD; demonstrating her ongoing commitment to CCSD. However, she has been integral to identifying an interim CFO while leading the current FY2024 budgeting process.

During Ms. Williams’ time with the district, she maintained a balanced budget while increasing teacher pay and the district’s fund balance as well as worked to improve the district’s financial rating.

Ms. Williams’ departure is a tremendous loss to CCSD, yet she is leaving to pursue an opportunity that will benefit her family. The district supports and respects the decision. A leader with incredible expertise, Ms. Williams leaves the Finance Division on solid footing prepared to handle the upcoming budget process for FY2024. Her last day as a CCSD employee is March 7.

CCSD is proud to announce Jacquelyn Carlen as the Interim Chief Financial Officer. Carlen has served as CCSD’s Executive Director of Finance since 2017.

Carlen has been responsible for helping produce balanced budgets that led to increases in teacher pay, growth of the district’s fund balance, and a decrease in the district’s debt. During her time as CCSD’s Executive Director of Finance, the district earned a AAA rating by Moody’s Investors Service and positive reviews from annual financial audits by Greene Finney Cauley, LLP.

“Having worked alongside Ms. Carlen, I am excited to have her step into the role,” said CCSD Superintendent of Schools Don Kennedy. “Her breadth of experience and knowledge of CCSD make her a clear choice to lead this critical division.”

Carlen worked in the private sector for more than a decade before joining CCSD in 2005 as a staff accountant. She was promoted several times in the district’s Finance Division and earned recognition for her work and leadership. In 2011, she joined Berkeley County School District as a financial analyst, and quickly emerged as a leader there, eventually becoming the Interim Chief Financial Officer in 2017.

Carlen, a graduate of R.B. Stall High School, received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Charleston Southern University. Carlen is a current member of the Southeastern Association of School Business Officials and the South Carolina Association of School Business Officials (SCASBO). She is also a SCASBO-certified school business official.