The new year brings a new business manager to the Duxbury Schools.

The new year brings a new business manager to the Duxbury Schools.7443a.jpg

Last month, Supt. Susan Skeiber chose Peter Etzel, the purchasing manager in the Arlington Schools, to replace departing business manager Mickey McGonagle.

Etzel officially started on Dec. 24, although Skeiber said he was able to come in a couple of days a week in December, allowing him to work alongside McGonagle, who retired on Dec. 31 after 13 years in the Duxbury schools.

"We worked it out with the superintendent in Arlington so he could work a couple days with Mickey," Skeiber said.

Etzel lives in Norwell and worked as a business manager in private industry before beginning a second career in the schools.

"In my second career, I wanted something that was more mission-based than straight business, and my wife and I have always had a strong interest in the public schools," Etzel said.

The business manager position in Duxbury is the type of job Etzel said he has been working toward.

"In Arlington, it was more of a narrow focus, but it was a step toward what I wanted to do," he said.

The role of a business manager is to make sure a school system makes the most of limited funds, Etzel said.

"It's not only saving money, but investing in better systems that can save money down the line," he said.

Both Skeiber and Assistant Supt. Ed Walsh said they believed Etzel was the most qualified of the four finalists for the position.

"One of the concerns we had was if a qualified candidate would be able to separate himself from a really competitive field and rise to the top, and (Etzel) did," Walsh said.

While all of the finalists were qualified for the position, Skeiber said, Etzel seemed to be the one who could most easily look at the big picture.

"He seems like he can look at a situation and weigh multiple solutions," Skeiber said.

Etzel is scheduled to meet with the School Committee at its Jan. 9 meeting.

Etzel was hired at an annual salary of $90,000. McGonagle earned just under $101,000 last year.