Pekin welcomes Westendorf as Business Manager

Cherie Westendorf in her new office at Pekin. 

            After 10 years with Keota Schools, Business Manager Cherie Westendorf can now be found doing the numbers at Pekin, a place she is very familiar with.

            “I grew up in Hedrick and attended Pekin beginning my junior year of high school,” Westendorf said. “I have a lot of great memories here. It’s like coming home.”

            Westendorf is taking over as Business Manager of the Pekin Community School District as Connie Linney retired this summer. To prepare for her transition, Westendorf attended several school board meetings to get a feel for the needs and procedures of her new position.

            “I know five of the board members personally, so I was very comfortable coming to these meetings over the last several months,” Westendorf said. “I don’t know everyone by any means, but I have plenty of chances to get to know people.”

            In addition to working with the school’s accounts and payroll, Westendorf also will act as board secretary and take notes during meetings. This week marks three weeks with Pekin, were she has been working out of the school’s media center recently due to work around the district. After settling in her office during the week of July 20, she is preparing for the new school year.

            “The biggest difference is the amount of employees,” Westendorf said. “Getting to know what every employee needs is my priority, and I make sure to remembers faces as I’ve worked over the summer. It’s going to be a challenge, but I am excited.”

            Westendorf will remain living in Keota with her husband, Scott, and their son Anthony, who is entering eighth grade this year. She began her career in business at Keota Community School District in 2007 as a superintendent secretary, eventually being promoted to board secretary in 2009 and later the Business Manager in 2013. Before working at Keota, Westendorf had worked as a daycare provider and studied Animal Science at Iowa State University. She was given advice to take business course while working as the superintendent secretary.

            “I will miss my co-workers at Keota, but I’m excited to work with Mr. Harper and Ann [Swanson],” Westendorf said. “I look forward to getting to know everyone else and some of the students too.”