State’s best: BCSC business exec named to Indiana top spot

A local administrator has been named as the top school business official in Indiana.

Vaughn Sylva, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. assistant superintendent for business services, was honored last week by the Indiana Association of School Business Officials during its award banquet as part of the organization’s annual conference in Fort Wayne.

The organization, which has 1,240 members from nearly all school corporations across the state, aims to promote and advance individuals involved in school business affairs such as finance, accounting, purchasing and other areas, according to its website.

Sylva, 66, was among individuals representing each of the group’s 10 regions to earn regional awards. He was nominated for the regional award by Chad Phillips, who will take over Sylva’s position July 1 and currently serves as the district’s director of title services.

A subcommittee of the organization’s board eventually selected Vaughn for the statewide award.

Sylva has been with BCSC since 2002. Before that, Sylva worked at the Fayette County School Corp. for six years as director of finance and taught math for 10 years at Brown County High School.

Sylva was able to gain some real-world experience by job shadowing school business officials through a company known as Educational Services in the summer of 1996. Sylva earned his doctoral degree from Loyola University Chicago the following year.

The job-shadowing opportunity allowed him to interact with education professionals in the field, he said.

“That’s how I was able to rub shoulders with so many good ones,” Sylva said. “It was an absolute huge help.”

Phillips described Sylva as an individual who is always willing to help people around him.

“People recognize him as someone who is a leader in the organization and someone who is respected for his knowledge,” Phillips said. “He’s a teacher and a leader.”

Sylva said his faith in God has been important in guiding him in life and also pointed to a business principle that he thinks is simple to follow.

“Don’t spend any more than you’ve got,” he said. “Our philosophy since I’ve been here is that we live within our means.”

Sylva praised the Indiana Association of School Business Officials, describing it as one of the best state organizations he’s worked with in his career.

“We learn so much from each other,” said Sylva, who plans to retire at the end of the year.

“It’s absolutely sweeter to go out on top,” he said.

Vaughn Sylva bio

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in management from Purdue University
  • Master of Business Administration degree from Loyola University, Chicago
  • PhD in educational administration from Loyola University

Work history:

  • Certified public accountant and then broker on Chicago Board Options Exchange and Midwest Stock Exchange.
  • Math teacher at Brown County High School for 10 years.
  • Director of finance with Fayette County School Corp. in Connersville.
  • Assistant superintendent of financial services for Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. since 2002.
Author photo
Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com