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Chief Financial Officer Announces Retirement

Randy McDowell to retire after distinguished 30-year career in public education

October 27, 2021

Plano Independent School District Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Randy McDowell has announced his retirement effective December 31, 2021, after a 35-year career in public education.

Serving as Plano ISD’s CFO since 2017, Mr. McDowell’s  leadership has helped maintain the Plano ISD legacy of financial responsibility, which includes the district continuing to earn the highest stand-alone credit ratings (Aaa / AA+) carried by any school district in Texas and the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) top rating of “superior achievement.”

As CFO, Mr. McDowell oversees Plano ISD’s finances, budgeting, accounting, payroll and accounts payable, along with facilities management, demographic planning, purchasing and facility construction and renovation. Mr. McDowell was recognized earlier this year for his esteemed work when he was named the 2021 recipient of the Commitment to Excellence Award. This award is the highest individual honor presented to a Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) member who best distinguishes themselves within their profession, within their district and within TASBO.

“Randy McDowell is a knowledgeable and astute school finance and business services professional,” said Plano ISD Superintendent of Schools Sara Bonser. “He has been an excellent leader, advisor and asset to Plano ISD, and will be greatly missed.” 

Mr. McDowell’s commitment and service to public education began while working his way through college as a school bus driver. After graduating with a business administration degree from West Texas A&M University, he began his career in accounting at Canyon Independent School District. Since then, he has served as chief financial officer in four school districts and as a school finance expert at Texas’s Region 16 Education Service Center.  

His active professional leadership profile includes serving as a Registered Texas School Business Administrator (RTSBA) and as president of TASBO. Mr. McDowell has also served as the TASBO Legislative/Governmental Relations Committee board liaison; the TEA’s) Accounting and Auditing Committee co-chair; TEA School Finance council member; Panhandle School Leaders Association president; Panhandle TASBO affiliate president; and as the Property Casualty Alliance of Texas (PCAT) president. Through this service, he has also mentored many financial professionals who are new to the profession or new to their positions.

“I wouldn’t have made it in this profession without the strong network of mentors and peers that I’ve had,” Mr.  McDowell said. “My hope is that I’ve made a positive impact on my profession and on the next generation of school business professionals. I’ve been truly blessed in my whole career to work with great people and great school districts.”

Mr. McDowell is looking forward to continuing to work with school districts in a financial consulting role and will continue to advocate for public education because he knows that the future of our state is dependent on a highly educated workforce. He is also looking forward to the birth of his first grandchild in the near future and spending time with them.