By Sharon Raschke, Ed.D, CFO, MSBO Board of Directors, Chief Financial Officer, Dexter Community Schools
“A 100 years after we are gone and forgotten, those who never heard of us will be living with the results of our actions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes.
On March 4, 2020, I flew back from representing the Metropolitan Association for Improved School Legislation (MAISL Trust) at the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRIP) annual conference in Orlando. I drove directly to the funeral of Richard “Dick” Knapp. I took over the finances and accounting from Richard Knapp at Dexter Community Schools in 1998. Richard had faithfully and dutifully served Dexter Schools in that capacity from 1965 until 1998. That sunny day, family and friends packed the small country church. As I listened to the eulogy and to his family and friends share their remembrances, I realized that no one there knew Richard from my vantage point. I had spent the previous 22 years with Richard’s spirit in every aspect of my work. Every time I went into a file drawer, it was filled with folders that had Richard’s handwriting and Richard’s work. I learned the best approach when a task arose was to simply pull out Richard’s folder and see what he did. It not only taught me the task, but it helped me learn the bigger picture, the institutional insight, that not only helped me socialize into the role of Finance Director, but the organization and the education profession. I focused on learning about previous actions, so I could provide continuity, consistency and accuracy. It helped me stay grounded and then I could add my own experiences and creativity to make the large and ever-changing workload efficient and accurate. Google or YouTube cannot replace an understanding of what came before in your specific role. Richard was my role model and he never knew it.
The Dexter Community School District recently sold the Copeland building that housed the Board offices. The brick 2-story building was built in 1936. The current building had replaced the beautiful brick Union School that was designed by Claire Allen Architect and built in 1887 on the lots the Fractional School District No. 9 purchased from Samuel W. Dexter in 1856. Almost a hundred years later, on March 30, 1950, the Dexter graded school district plus eleven surrounding primary districts reorganized and the schools of the Dexter Community became known as the Dexter Agricultural Schools, District 3 Fractional, Scio Township. The very first bonds were issued in 1951 that provided $395,000 to build Bates Elementary School, “built as a progressive step to bring together the elementary school children housed in five different country school buildings, six high school rooms, the Masonic Temple basement, and the St. Andrews church. “How do I know all of that history? I inherited artifacts from previous school officials who kept the records.
I sort of lost it at the funeral that day, but walked away with a deeper understanding that 100 years after I am gone and forgotten, those who never heard of me will be living with the results of my actions.
Other Articles in this Newsletter
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- Don’t Miss Out on These Scholarship Opportunities
- Here’s What’s on Deck with Certification Classes
- Is it Your Turn to Serve on the MSBO Board of Directors?
- MSBO Awards – Recognizing Members
- MSBO Update
- Welcome New Members
- You Are Essential – Bill Chatfield, MSBO Board President