By Deanna Mayer, CPA, CFO, MSBO Board President, Director of Finance and Human Resources, Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD
Happy New Year! I know that many of us are feeling the strain of another wave of what is beginning to seem like an endless pandemic. CDC guidelines are leaving us guessing. The budget season is beginning. I admit I am looking forward to 2022 with all the challenges and success it will bring.
Recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of your staff and highlighting innovative programming in your school district is a nice way to let people know you appreciate their work and a great way to kick off the new year. How can you do that? Nominate someone you work with for an MSBO award. It can be School Business Official of the Year, the Distinguished Service Award or the Meridian Award of Excellence.
One great part of the Meridian award is that recipients share their best practices, which provides the opportunity for other districts to also implement those programs. In fact, Eastern UP ISD is a previous award recipient.
The EUPISD operates a regional business services consortium (EUPBSC) (17 districts plus the ISD). Collaboration is a means of survival for us and in 2012, we collected and implemented a region-wide finance system. This has allowed us many advantages within our consortium and improved our ability to work together. In 2016, we received the Meridian Award of Excellence, Honorable Mention, for our regional collaboration in audit service, which 14 of our districts participated and leveraged significant savings as a region over the first three-years.
Let’s not forget about the MSBO scholarship programs. Perhaps one of your resolutions this year includes furthering your education. Well… MSBO’s scholarships are for you. If you are pursuing a graduate degree, you will want to apply for the Wally Piper Scholarship. If you want to improve your technical skills and competencies, or work on an undergraduate degree – the Mark and Kay Stebbins scholarship is for you. The Stebbins scholarship can also be applied to all MSBO events!
The EUPISD has had several scholarship recipients, myself included. It is great having that extra financial assistance and support as pursing further education is quite costly, but worth it in the end. Other members of my team have been awarded the scholarships in recognition of their dedication to furthering their education and technical skills. Furthering your education can be expensive and MSBO scholarships are here to help you.
I hope you take time to fine tune your resolutions and put them into action. Apply for an MSBO scholarship. I also hope you consider nominating yourself or a colleague for one of MSBO’s awards. It’s important to share your good news about the great things happening in your school district.
Thomas A. Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” It’s time to shake off 2021. Let’s celebrate the New Year.