By Mike Hagerty, CFO, MSBO Immediate Past President
It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been in this business, school business officials continue to amaze me. You are resilient, compassionate, and hard working. And you should be extremely proud of the work you do!
Over the past few years more and more staff have come to me to ask if they can work from home. My standard answer was, perhaps some departments can, but certainly not the business office staff. After all, these jobs require people on site. Fast forward to today, that same department I was referring to now does 98% of the work from home. Besides printing a few checks on a MICR printer, no staff are needed on site. I stand corrected!
Last Friday I participated in the PFM Asset Management (PFM) weekly market update via Zoom, which, if you haven’t been part of, is certainly worth 30 minutes of your Friday morning. While I thought maybe 30-40 people might tune in — nope, there was well over 100. People were engaged and asked good questions via the chat feature, making the experience even more fulfilling.
Thirty minutes after the PFM Zoom was done a second meeting was hosted by MSBO, this one a MSBO School Finance meeting. It started with an informative legislative update from Chris Glass. I was thinking maybe 50-75 people might participate — nope, over 200 people joined. Someone could have used the chat box to teach a school finance class, as some of the brightest and best were giving thoughts, asking questions and providing answers on current events. The information gained from that meeting was no less valuable than sitting through an all day, on-site school finance meeting.
I talked with two superintendents last week, both of who raved about the work of their technology department which worked overtime to get student devices and programming working, and their food service director who is now delivering meals all over the district. I talked with a business manager who couldn’t say enough about their facility department which is preparing for the new normal of school sanitation. Just so many examples of school business officials stepping up their game to meet the new challenges.
I ended the week on a virtual “happy hour” with four good school business official friends, something I thought I’d never do in my life. What I thought was going to be 30-45 minutes ended up being two hours of laughs, storytelling, and therapy. It was the best two hours I spent all week and was another great reminder why I have the upmost respect for school business officials. You are simply the best, keep up the great work!