With budget season around the corner, the Shelton school administration welcomed a new, yet familiar face as its finance director.

The Board of Education last Wednesday approved the hire of lifelong Shelton resident Rick Belden to head the district’s finance department.

“The staff members of the Shelton public schools are delighted to welcome Rick Belden as the new finance director for the district,” Superintendent Chris Clouet announced after the board meeting Wednesday night. “Rick is top in the field, a seasoned professional who knows the Shelton community very well.”

Board of Education Chairman Mark Holden said Belden understands the “community’s values and the challenges we face.

“His many years of experience as a finance manager will make him a valuable member of the team,” added Holden.

Clouet said Belden brings more than 25 years of experience in education and municipal finance and operations management. Belden will assume the position on Jan. 5, when the current finance director, Edward Drapp, is scheduled to leave the post.

Belden has a BS in accounting from Sacred Heart University, an MBA from the University of New Haven, and completed the Education Leadership Program at Sacred Heart University.

He has served as president of the Connecticut Association of School Business Officials (CASBO).

He has been active in many community organizations over the years — currently on the board of directors of Center Stage Theater and president of the Highland Golf Club. He is a past member Shelton Parks & Recreation Commission and past corporator of the Boys & Girls Club of LNV.