NMASBO 1st Quarter Newsletter July - September 2020

| VOLUME 15 | ISSUE 1 |

President's Message

Claire Cieremans, SFO, NMASBO President

Happy New Year!

It appears that every time I am writing an article to the membership, we, as New Mexico School Business Officials, are in the midst of change or cuts, or something we have not done or seen before. If it is not one thing, it is another. If you would have told me six months ago that we would be starting the next school year in a hybrid model of sorts and wearing masks to school, I probably would have thought you were crazy.

Here we are….

I have often voiced my opinion of how public education has not changed. For the most part, the length of the school year and school day, looked much like it did for half a century or longer. The school buildings, classrooms, and desks looked like they did when I was in elementary school. We recognized that some of those processes needed to change, yet we all know change is hard. Let us utilize these very strange times we are in to take a deep breath, look on the bright side and use this pandemic as an optimistic fresh start to having the opportunity to look at public education and make some positive changes for our students. It is easy to say and really hard to do. Trust me, I feel your pain. Leadership is not easy, but we are in our positions for a reason, and at my district I can think of 8,500 reasons for me to stop pouting and move forward. Health and safety come first, but we all want our kids back in school, learning, growing, and excelling with smiles on their faces.

NMASBO is here to support you and help all of us get through this. We will be rolling out changes to the association that will make us better in the end.

Relationships, Flexibility, Accountability, and Stay Healthy!

From the Executive Director's Desk

Terry Dean, NMASBO Executive Director

There never seems to be enough time to catch a breath before running to the next meeting or attacking the latest project/problem. Somewhere on your to-do list is, “Read the NMASBO Newsletter." So, with that, here are some things going on at NMASBO. We have some important information for you but here is the high-level view:

Fall Conference – Our 2020 Fall Conference has been postponed to November 4-6, from the original September date. We will still be at Buffalo Thunder but the event will be smaller, due to the physical distancing requirements. See the Training Committee’s article for additional information about the 2020 Fall Conference.

Treasurer’s Report – Due to the cancellation of Spring Budget workshop, NMASBO will be post an annual operating loss of $65,611 (unaudited). This is the largest annual operating loss ever recorded by NMASBO. See the Treasurer’s report for additional information.

Election of President-Elect – We are in the process of conducting an election for a new president for NMASBO. By now, you should have received an email informing you of the voting process. The polls will close at 5:00 PM on July 30, 2020. We have three great candidates for the office. We are fortunate to have so many willing to serve their colleagues as President. Once elected, the successful candidate will assume the role of President on July 1, 2021 and will serve in that role for a 2-year term before rotating to the Past-President role for another year. Thank you to all the candidates. You may see their resumes and biographical information at https://nmasbo.org/page/board_elections.

Boot Camp – We are still planning on conducting our 2020 Boot Camp, scheduled for October 12 – 16 at Embassy Suites in Albuquerque. Boot Camp is immersion training for those individuals who are new to school business. Many of our current school business leaders within the state are graduates of Boot Camp. Boot Camp is like the US Army Ranger School. It is the place where you learn to survive and thrive in NM school business. In fact, many new superintendents have found the training valuable as they began their journeys as Superintendents. Since the inception, Boot Camp has limited enrollment of no more than 30 cadets. We are currently working with the hotel to determine how many cadets we can safely accommodate this year. If you are interested in attending Boot Camp, please email us at nmasbo@nmasbo.org and we will place you on the list. Being placed on the list is not a commitment to attend but merely telling us that you want more information.

SFO Study Group – For the past few years, NMASBO has organized a study group for those individuals interested in taking the SFO exam. The SFO (Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations) program is administered by ASBO International and you can learn more about the program at https://asbointl.org/certification. If you are interested in the SFO Study Group, please email us at nmasbo@nmasbo.org.

Treasurer's Report as of June 30th

Teresa Casias, SFO, SBO II, CPO, Region 2 & Treasurer

We want to take a few moments to touch base with you regarding the financial position of your association. As with most non-profit associations, NMASBO had a rough 19/20 fiscal year. We were on track for our best year ever until the cancellation of the Spring Budget Workshop. The Spring Budget Workshop generates the most revenue for the association because of the large number of attendees, so you can imagine that not having that conference created a significant loss in revenues for NMASBO. We are a 501(c)3 organization and our primary focus is not the generation of profit. However, it is sensible to conclude the fiscal year with a small profit to sustain the organization.

Financial Position

Over time, the NMASBO board has had conversations regarding the necessity to have an emergency fund in case there came a time when we had an economic downturn that is out of our control, for example, the events of 9/11 and now COVID-19. Since the establishment of the emergency fund, (15-year period) the association has set aside $405,372 in emergency reserves. Our total cash position as of June 30, 2020, was $524,933, with total assets of $532,546. Our total liabilities as of June 30 were $87,352, which includes a $50,295 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP is a component of the CARES act available to Non-Profit organizations) Loan. The PPP Loan was applied for because of the current economic situation, resulting in the loss of revenue, due to the cancellation of the Spring Budget Workshop. We are currently working through the loan forgiveness process for the PPP Loan. Our total equity as of June 30 was $445,195.

Results of Operations

For the year ended June 30, 2020, NMASBO posted a net operating loss of $65,611. The total revenue for the 19/20 fiscal year was $529,233. When compared to total revenues from the 18/19 fiscal year, the association incurred a reduction of revenue of $167,166.

At this particular point in time, your association remains in a good financial position. However, we don’t know what is going to happen over the next several months, which could impact our upcoming conferences. With that in mind, the Executive Board is promising to do what it can to remain financially sound and has taken action to reduce expenses in the 20/21 budget.

NMASBO staff is currently in the process of submitting the financial information to the auditors and all information communicated in this article is unaudited.

Click here for more information about the New Mexico Society of Association Executives

Jason Espinoza, NMSAE Executive Director

Jessica Montaño was elected to serve a two-year term as the Associate Representative on the New Mexico Society of Association Executives (NMSAE) Board of Directors. The NMSAE Board of Directors steer the organization towards a sustainable future by providing strategic direction and financial oversight and accountability to ensure the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission. NMSAE is a membership organization comprised of more than 150 association professionals and industry partners, representing over 65 New Mexico-based associations and professional societies. In turn, their member organizations represent tens of thousands of their own members, which means our impact is amplified across a diverse group of industries and professionals covering the entire state of New Mexico. For more than 55 years, NMSAE has been working with associations to advance New Mexico and has served as a key influencer and leader of growth and innovation in the association community. Congratulations Jessica!

Member Link: How to Renew Your 2020-21 Membership

Jessica Montaño, NMASBO Deputy Director

Renew your NMASBO membership today at nmasbo.org. Below are some quick, easy instructions on how to renew:

  • Your membership expired on 06/30/2020. You will sign in under your MASTER ACCOUNT LOGIN and a "Renew now!" notification will appear on the screen.
  • You will first need to update your Profile and click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the screen.
  • After updating your Profile, you will land on the Membership Dues screen.
  • Please NOTE under the Membership Information the Dues Modifiers.
  • Complete your information and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  • Click Submit.

Member Benefits

  • Discounts on all NMASBO events.
  • Access to member-only content and SociaLink.
  • Job posting permissions in the Career Center.
  • Access to group communities and forums.

NMASBO is your source for school business official certification and licensure training.

NMASBO has partnered with Equitable to bring you a FREE webinar discussing Women and Money: Taking Control of Your Financial Future. (Can't attend? Register now and we'll send you the recording later.) Click here to register now!

Legislative Advocacy Conference

Martin Romine, SFO, SBOII, Region 1

What a different era we are living through! In years to come, we will look back and wonder how we arrived at this crazy time and how we were able to continue educating the youth of this country. It has been a difficult road, as we have tried to figure out how to navigate all of the new rules and guidelines but still get our jobs accomplished effectively and efficiently. During this time, there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes, with the intent of minimizing hardships and maximizing learning opportunities. While school has been sent home, ASBO has been advocating on your behalf at the federal level. Last week ASBO International and the School Superintendents' Association (AASA) held their annual joint Legislative Advocacy Conference in a virtual setting. The issues that were discussed with members of the Senate and Congress were obviously centered around education and how to educate students in this new environment. We all struggle with funding to meet the many financial demands we face and this was the topic of our lobbying this year. There are many students, especially in lower income households and rural areas, who do not have access to fast, reliable internet and Congress was asked to appropriate $5 billion dollars to the erate program, targeted at providing equitable access to affordable internet to all students. Many of the most vulnerable among us are those students who require services paid for with IDEA B funds. Many districts may struggle meeting MOE requirements, and Congress has been asked to relax some rules and provide flexibility in meeting MOE. A concern for most, if not all of us, when schools closed was how were we going to continue feeding students and how we were going to pay for that service. USDA has provided many waivers in this area, including parent and guardian pickup of meals, meal pattern times, and child and adult care food program waivers. USDA was asked to continue the waivers it has issued. A request was submitted for funding to mitigate a portion of the estimated financial loss that our schools are and may continue to suffer during this stressful time. Of concern to many districts is the potential liability to a district of students and staff who return to the classroom and then get sick as a result. Congress has been asked to provide liability protections so that districts will not be on a financial hook due to lawsuits that may arise as a result of illnesses caused by a return to the classroom. Finally, CARES Act money must get to those students it was intended to help and must not be diverted at a state or local level for unintended projects. During this difficult time, ASBO continues to look out for the needs of its members as we move forward, finding new ways to provide for the education of the students that we serve.

Due to recent changes in school nutrition, there are many districts, both in New Mexico and throughout the country, that struggle with unpaid meal debt and lunch shaming issues. We requested that this issue be examined and that a workable solution be proposed to deal with this issue. School Districts that have chosen to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Program have experienced good results and have asked the ASBO lobby to continue this program, as well as seek increased funding as the CEP program is accomplishing its goal of providing nutritious meals for students. Along with this request was a request to simplify regulations for nutrition programs to reduce administrative costs and burdens.

Health care costs will continue to require a large portion of a school district’s annual budget. Part of the ASBO healthcare platform was encouragement to provide adequate funding and training for districts to implement healthcare regulations. Also included was a request to streamline regulations in order to reduce administrative costs and burdens as they have to do with the ACA employer mandate. All in all, it was a busy few days with lots of meetings, but it is always good to meet with the New Mexico Congressional delegation to share our concerns with them and to thank them for what they do to help educate students in New Mexico. If you have time next July, you might think about joining us as we continue to advocate for the education of our students.

Click here to register now! (Can't attend? Register now and we'll send you the recording later.)

Associate Link

Jaryn Schaumburg, Office Manager/Admin. Assistant

Membership renewal for the 2020-2021 fiscal year is open. As we prepare for the new year, we will be seeing a few changes. NMASBO would like to keep everything as simple as possible for you to renew your yearly membership and exhibit at our conferences. See Jessica’s article on “How to Renew Your 2020-21 Membership.”

Renew your membership now to receive discounted conference fees and the first chance to register for an exhibit booth. Non-members will be given an opportunity to register to exhibit after our members get the first chance. An email will be sent out to all associate members when a conference registration opens.

Effective July 1, 2020, the new rate schedule is as follows:

Please click here for more information.

Upcoming Event Schedule

  • 2020 Fall Conference (NEW DATE): November 4-6, 2020 at Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder in Santa Fe, NM
  • 2021 Winter Conference: February 17-19, 2021 at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Albuquerque, NM
  • 2021 Spring Budget Workshop: March 31 - April 2, 2021 at Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town in Albuquerque, NM

2020 Boot Camp

When: Monday, October 12 - Friday, October 16, 2020

Where: Embassy Suites, Albuquerque, NM

Registration Fees (includes meals and class materials)

  • Member Fee: $1,750
  • Non Member Fee: $2,000

Online Registration will open Fall 2020!

Credit toward licensure certification hours will be given for all of the courses attended at this event.

Email jessica@nmasbo.org to get on the interest list.

Click here for more information.

Chris Parrino, SFO, SBO II, CPO, Charter Rep

The following represents an overview of the New Mexico Public Schools Insurance Authority’s (NMPSIA) programs and a financial update. Should you desire more information, feel free to contact Mr. Chris Parrino, NMPSIA School Business Official Board Representative at cparrino@mrgcharter.org. You may also contact Mr. Richard Valerio, Executive Director, at richard.valerio@state.nm.us, or call 1.800.548.3724.


Mr. David Willden, NMPSIA Board Representative for Other Educational Entities, is retiring from Pecos Valley REC #8 at the end of July. Mr. Willden was recognized for his service and dedication to the NMPSIA Board and Risk Advisory Committee throughout the years.

Ms. Bethany Jarrell has been appointed to the NMPSIA Board by NEA-NM. Ms. Mary Parr-Sanchez was recognized by the NMPSIA Board for her service and dedication as NMPSIA Board President and Benefits Advisory Committee Member.

Mr. Chris Parrino is now the NMPSIA Board President and Mr. Al Park is Vice-President. Board elections will be held at the next Board meeting in August.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for 9:00 A.M., Thursday, August 6, 2020. The meeting will be held virtually due to COVID-19. The agenda and login/dial-in information will be made available on www.nmpsia.com.


Mr. Richard Valerio has been appointed Executive Director and oversees all NMPSIA related services, including the Risk and Benefits Programs.

Mr. Patrick Sandoval has been appointed Deputy Director and continues to serve as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Sandoval works primarily with the Agency’s budget and investments and oversees the Financial Division.

Benefits Division

NMPSIA has been working diligently during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of all members. NMPSIA is covering the cost of testing for COVID-19 at no cost-sharing for members enrolled in a medical plan. NMPSIA is also covering the treatment for COVID-19, and other conditions such as influenza and pneumonia when they are related to COVID-19, at no cost sharing for members.

Pursuant to authorization of the NMPSIA Board and the Health Care Purchasing Act, NMPSIA has completed procuring group medical, dental, and vision benefits coverages to begin the plan year effective 1/1/2021. NMPSIA will be offering self-insured medical coverages through Presbyterian Health Plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico and Cigna. Self-insured dental coverages will be offered through United Concordia and Delta Dental. In addition, a fully-insured vision coverage will be offered through Davis Vision. More information will become available prior to the Fall Open/Switch Enrollment.

The NMPSIA Board approved medical premium rate increases for FY21 at the March meeting. The approved rates were an 8.7% increase to the High and EPO options and a 2.1% increase to the Low options. Due to budget issues being faced by the state, NMPSIA will be reconsidering these rate increases at the August 6th Board meeting. Communications on final increases will be sent out once the final rates are approved. Any premium changes will be deferred to October 1, 2020.

NMPSIA encourages members to use the video visits benefit under both BCBSNM and Presbyterian as an alternative to care rather than going to urgent care. The cost to the member is $0. Physicians can e-prescribe medications in order to treat members. This is a great benefit, especially for members living in rural communities with little or no after-hours care for non-emergent situations. If a member cannot be treated through a video visit, the member will be redirected to other health care options. In order to use this service, go to your medical plan’s website to complete the registration for this service. Once you are registered, you can quickly access this level of care when needed. If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact the Benefits Department at NMPSIA at 1.800.548.3724. (BCBSNM is offering video visits for behavioral health at the same $0 copayment, and Presbyterian is working toward implementing this option sometime soon.)

NMPSIA’s data warehousing services, provided by Segal, have assisted in rate projections and plan design to determine where NMPSIA needs to focus on enhancing member education to better assist members in efforts to manage their overall health status. Diabetes, asthma, cancer, coronary artery disease, inflammatory conditions, and hemophilia continue to be some of cost drivers on both the medical plans and the prescription drug plan.

NMPSIA’s Wellness Programs offered through the medical plans are working to improve member engagement. NMPSIA is asking for your support in considering the implementation of a wellness at work program to assist in improving the overall health of the NMPSIA membership. NMPSIA is a self-insured plan, so a healthy population will translate to affordable premiums and good benefits. These programs may also contribute to less absenteeism and improve presentism, as well as encourage members to develop a relationship with a primary care physician in order to ensure they become aware if they may be at risk of developing a chronic medical condition. The programs can be designed to fit the needs of your district/school, as one-size does not fit all. If you would like more information, please contact Ms. Katherine Chavez, Benefits and Wellness Operations Manager, at Katherine.Chavez@state.nm.us at 1.800.548.3724, ext. 1011. Please allow NMPSIA to help you come up with a strategic plan for your district/school. Remember, wellness is not just about nutrition and exercise, it is about our emotional, financial, occupational, environmental, spiritual, and social state of mind. Please visit www.nmpsia.com and review the presentations made during the July 2018 Regional Benefit Training sessions. The trainings were geared toward improving overall health.

Risk Division

The Risk Services Division of NMPSIA provides insurance for Property, Liability, School Board Legal Liability, Crime, Cyber Liability and Workers’ Compensation coverages. NMPSIA members consist of K-12, Charter Schools and Educational Entities (including several colleges and universities). Insurance is provided by a Memorandum of Coverage. NMPSIA maintains large self-insured retentions/deductibles, which means that NMPSIA pays losses on most cases that are filed on behalf of its members. NMPSIA purchases excess insurance from carriers that provide large limits of liability in case a claim exceeds retentions. NMPSIA contracts with various professionals who provide services for the following: brokerage, consulting, administration, actuarial, driver information retrieval, and claims management. These groups, along with staff, meet once a month reviewing coverages, claims, loss trends and loss prevention services to ensure NMPSIA provides the broadest coverage available and the best service possible.

NMPSIA is actively working with the Public Education Department and the Superintendents Association on the reopening of schools during COVID-19.

Within the Risk Program, there are many areas of loss control issues that are addressed. NMPSIA’s efforts to focus on playgrounds, a leading cause of serious injury among children, has also led to an expansion of PSFA review. The hope is an increase in funding will ultimately reduce the risk and affect the stability of the pool.

NMPSIA, through its contract with Poms and Associates, has spent a vast amount of time focusing on school violence and sexual molestation trainings. NMPSIA’s main efforts are to provide consulting services that help to ensure the safety of children and employees. NMPSIA and Poms and Associates drafted and distributed guidelines for arming school personnel for all members. These guidelines are to be posted on www.nmpsia.com under the Risk section.

Please contact Ms. Julie Garcia for any risk-related training you wish to bring to your district/charter school. A summary of trainings can be found at www.nmpsia.com under the Risk section. There is no cost for these trainings!

The NMPSIA Board did not pass any premium rate increases for the Risk Program for FY21. However, some districts or schools may receive a decrease, or an increase, depending on experience and exposure.

Financial Overview

NMPSIA’s FY2019 audit for the period ending June 30, 2019 was completed and released by the Office of the State Auditor. NMPSIA received an Unmodified Opinion and had no audit findings.

NMPSIA is in the process of building the FY22 appropriation request and will be submitting to DFA and LFC on September 1st. NMPSIA does not receive a direct appropriation from the State General Fund. The Authority’s appropriation request sets the expenditure authority in which claims and other expenses can be paid by the Authority. The employer contribution for premiums paid to NMPSIA are funded through the “Insurance” line item in Public School Support.

Jeannie Harris, Region 6 & Training Committee Chair

Your NMASBO Training Committee and staff are busy planning the 2020 Fall Conference. As Terry stated in his article, the Board decided to postpone the 2020 Fall Conference to November 4 – 6 at Buffalo Thunder. Currently, the number of participants at the in-person event will be limited to 100 attendees. However, we are hopeful the current physical distancing requirement will change before the event, allowing us to expand the number of attendees. We are planning for three LearningLink tracts instead of the normal four. This is being done to provide ingress and egress to the learning rooms while maintaining physical distancing requirements.

In addition to the traditional in-person training event, we will be hosting a virtual conference beginning on November 16. A virtual conference is completely new to us, so please be patient while we work out the details. We are researching software that will help us facilitate this type of training. Nonetheless, this platform will allow you to acquire your training CEUs (Continuing Educational Units) to maintain your PED School Business License.

Click here to get connected to your SocialLink today!

Sean Fry, SFO and Business Manager for ABQ Charter Academy

"Sean Fry is a valuable member of our leadership team. Sean has earned his keep in his role of as charter school business manager at a high-paced and demanding charter school. He has incredible school business official knowledge and helps the leadership team deliver the very best for our scholars and staff. Sean works well with our Governance Council, auditors, authorizer and the larger education community. Sean always goes above and beyond to ensure our school is in compliance with laws, regulations and best practices. He is always willing to help other business managers and schools with his expertise and willingness to research questions and topics that seem to come up frequently." - Erik Bose, ABQ Charter Academy Executive Director

Claudia Martinez, Business Assistant for Wagon Mound Public Schools

"Claudia Martinez has been a member of the Wagon Mound team since 2008. She is the Food Service Director and the Assistant Business Manager. Claudia's willingness to help others, her desire to learn, and friendly personality have been a welcomed addition to our team. During her tenure with the District, she has implemented processes and procedures that have streamlined our food service operations and have given us the opportunity to provide home cooked meals to our students and staff. Through her partnership with the community garden, she has been able to establish and sustain a salad bar that is capable of competing with the best commercial salad bars on the market. She is one of those people that you can call on at any time and she always answers the call to action. She is so good at her job, in fact, that we often say "What your school needs is a Claudia!" You have probably seen her at the sign-in tables at NMASBO Events, where she greets everyone with a smile. In her spare time, she is a baker, and a self-taught cake decorator. (Her cakes and cupcakes are amazing.) She is the mother to two sons, Jesse and Jonah, and shares her love of life with her partner Rio. Wagon Mound Schools, and the business of school business is really lucky to have Claudia in our ranks, thanks NMASBO for highlighting such a deserving person." - Teresa Casias, Wagon Mound Public Schools Business Manager

Thad Phipps, Assistant Superintendent for Operations for Artesia Public Schools

"Mr. Phipps’s roots run deep in Artesia as a student-athlete, teacher, coach, and administrator. He exemplifies the pride the citizens of Artesia have in the Artesia Public Schools. Mr. Phipps holds the highest expectations for all endeavors: while fostering positive relationships with students, staff, families, contractors, and vendors. His genuine care and concern for others shines through in all he does. I could not ask for a finer person to be in his role, looking out for the best interests of the stakeholders of the district." - J.R. Nulll, Artesia Public Schools Superintendent

Click here to red Stan's Straight Talk article for June 2020.
Created By
Jessica Montano


Created with an image by Andy Falconer - "School lunches for key worker children are a bit of a lonely affair with social distancing in place."