Retiring business officer for Sac City schools recalls 32 years of service

Published: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3B

There are many things Patty Hagemeyer will miss about her job as chief business officer of the Sacramento City Unified School District.

After a 32-year career with the city school district, during which she spent all but six months in the business office, Hagemeyer said she has worked with people who are dedicated to providing high-quality education to Sacramento schoolchildren.

But, there are things she won't miss as she enters retirement.

"I am told that I have a black cloud over my head, because for a number of years I haven't had good news from the fiscal part of the house," said Hagemeyer, 55.

With her departure, Sacramento City Unified brought on Richard E. Odegaard on an interim basis.

As Hagemeyer helped with the transition, she spoke to The Bee about her retirement.

Why did you decide to retire?

It was a really tough decision for me. These last years with the budget cuts, I spent a lot of nights awake and wondering if I missed anything or if there was anything we could do differently to save jobs and programs. It really took its toll.

What are your retirement plans?

I'm trying to get my life back a little bit. The job has really consumed my life. I am looking forward to doing the things I like to do. I'd like to do some volunteer work that I haven't had time to do. I have some minor travel plans, but mostly I will be spending time with family.

What are some of the significant changes that have occurred during your tenure?

We've seen a lot of changes. When I first started with the district, the budget director at the time was the first to have a PC using Lotus. When I look back at those times and think of where we are today, it's incredible.

People were using typewriters. I used to type the budget on typewriters. We were always a month behind.

Have the technology advances improved your job or created more work?

It has made it better. Real-time information is better than being a month old. It was like when we got email for the first time. At first, it was one more thing we had to do, but now I can't live without it.

I imagine your job has been very difficult in recent years?

I won't miss the budget cuts we are going through and seeing names on the layoff list. That's the worst part of my job. … I know with the passage of Prop. 30, there is hope that we will be able to restore a lot of things, but we're not.

Thirty-two years in the same school district is a long time. Was it difficult to leave?

Everyone says they will miss the people. I have worked with talented and compassionate people throughout the years. The majority of the people who work in the district are here for the right reasons. … The district has always been very important to me and will continue to be.

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