|Owen J. Roberts School District business office staff|
Five Chester County school districts win Association of School Business Officials International finance awards
Chester County, PA – Every year, the business departments of each school district throughout the world tackle the responsibility of developing and approving budgets that balance student and community needs. Although working with uncertainties and managing various stakeholders’ interests may not be easy, Chester County school districts have continuously proven that they are up to the challenge. For their outstanding financial reporting, budget presentations and leadership in the 2017-18 school year, Downingtown Area School District, Great Valley School District, Kennett Consolidated School District, Owen J. Roberts School District and West Chester Area School District were honored by the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International.
Great Valley School District, Kennett Consolidated School District, Owen J. Roberts School District and West Chester Area School District all received the ASBO Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting. Downingtown Area School District, Great Valley School District and Owen J. Roberts School District also earned the ASBO Meritorious Budget Award (MBA), joining only 140 school districts worldwide recognized with the MBA distinction.
The ASBO 2018 Emerging Business Leaders Scholarship comprises an even smaller number of recipients. Great Valley’s Missy Klaus, purchasing coordinator and fiscal services specialist, was among the 18 chosen to receive the scholarship this year, which finances awardees participation in ASBO’s annual programs and conference. The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) also sponsored Downingtown’s Kristin Johnson’s, financial operations and analysis supervisor, attendance at the ASBO International Annual Meeting & Expo Conference. This scholarship offers huge professional networking and skill development advantages and was exactly the kind of growth opportunity that Klaus seeks in her work, saying, “It’s such a privilege for me as I move forward in my professional career to receive this scholarship and be able to network, collaborate and learn from different school districts throughout the U.S. and internationally.”
Since its founding in 1910, ASBO has challenged school districts to create a budget that is both accessible and extremely comprehensive. “Meeting ASBO’s rigorous standards for the Meritorious Budget Award and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting requires a truly collaborative effort,” said Joe Lubitsky, director of business administration for the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU). “These applications require a vast amount of data, from performance measures and organizational goals to fund forecasts and enrollment history, and these school districts’ distinction shows how diligently they’ve worked to synthesize a great deal of complex information.”
These awards confirm that each business department succeeded in creating outstanding financial practices that hold up to scrutiny year after year, and it also serves as a communication tool. “The reason we put so much time and effort into the MBA application is to be transparent. It’s a 150-page document that allows all stakeholders to fully understand the business operations of the district. If there’s a question from a fiscal perspective that they need answered, it’s most likely in this document,” stated Richard Fazio, chief financial officer for the Downingtown Area School District.
Downingtown, Great Valley and Owen J. Roberts have all received ASBO’s Meritorious Budget Award over numerous consecutive fiscal years. “I’m proud of our district’s achievement and the importance we place on maintaining best practices in the areas of budgeting and financial reporting,” said Jaclin Krumrine, chief financial officer and board secretary for Owen J. Roberts School District. “ASBO’s MBA Program provides our stakeholders with assurance that we are continually working on improving the quality of information being communicated to our community about the district’s educational programs and services in a clear and transparent manner.”
Mark Tracy, assistant to the superintendent of Kennett Consolidated School District, business affairs, and Justin Matys, assistant director of business affairs for West Chester Area School District, both echoed the importance of creating comprehensive financial reports that are accessible to the entire community. “We really work for transparency as well. This report is a one-stop document that provides our taxpayers, our board and any stakeholders with the ability to review our financial operations in full disclosure and also gives us the opportunity to expand on and answer any questions our community raises throughout the budgetary process,” said Tracy.
The CCIU would like to recognize and congratulate these school districts and their business and finance teams for their consistent hard work and dedication to financial planning and transparency.
For more information about ASBO’s awards and career development offerings, visit: https://asbointl.org/awards-career-development/overview