NMASBO Member Link April - June 2020


President's Message

Claire Cieremans, President

2020 Membership Survey Data

The 19/20 school year has been a very challenging year; one of the most challenging in my career. Several districts were inflicted with a computer “virus,” then all of us were dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 virus. On top of all that, we are not certain what the future will bring to our budgets with a special legislative session looming in the next few months. Hang in there!

We would like to thank everyone that responded to the NMASBO survey conducted in February. Congratulations to Rachael Sewards from Solare Collegiate Charter for winning the $50 Amazon gift card drawing for completing the survey. We received 126, responses which is approximately 25% of the current general members. This information was very useful as we entered our Strategic Planning Meeting in early-March. Some of the information we received confirmed our general thoughts and we found some of the information very interesting and useful in terms of moving the organization forward. Here's what we learned:

  • Generally, 65% of the membership is between 40 and 60 years of age, 75% are female and 54% have more than 10 years of experience in school business;
  • 59% of the respondents have been promoted to their current positions within the last five years;
  • 37% of the respondents plan on retiring within the next five years;
  • 83% rightly recognize their leadership role within their organization;
  • Generally, the membership wants to receive mass communication through email;
  • 97% state the greatest value of the NMASBO membership are conference trainings;
  • 99% state the session topics are the most important factor when considering attending an NMASBO conference.

Other than the planned retirement of 37% of our current membership within the next five years, the information we gathered through the survey confirmed our thoughts. We remain committed to providing quality training to our members.

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. I look forward to the next time we get together.

From the Executive Director's Desk

Terry Dean, Executive Director

There are so many things going on at the NMASBO office, it is hard to know where to start. We are trying to figure out the “new normal” and what we need to do to meet the needs of our membership.

Let us talk about Spring Budget Workshop. Due to the cancellation of Spring Budget, NMASBO lost our largest source of conference revenue. However, we knew how important it was that our members receive the budgeting information in a timely manner. Days after the cancellation, we approached PED’s leadership with a plan to do the conference virtually at no cost to the attendees. The event was a major success. The success of SBW began conversations on how we could deliver training differently and improve the experience for our members. Hours of discussion with other states' Executive Directors and attending countless webinars about delivering virtual conferences, brought us to the decision to conduct our fall conference in a hybrid method (see article from the Training Committee).

Although SBW was a major success, the event has changed how we will deliver training in 20/21 and in the future. Even though we will provide you more training options and opportunities, there is no substitute for in-person relationship building and networking. During my career as a School Business Officer, most of my good ideas were actually modified plagiarism. What do I mean? I knew some very intelligent people I could call for advice and ideas. By meeting and visiting with my fellow SBOs at the NMASBO conferences, I had developed personal/professional relationships with a lot of people and knew who to call for good advice. Relationships are developed face-to-face. You are not in this incredibly challenging job by yourself. The NMASBO Team is working to develop more effective and varied approaches to help you foster personal/professional relationships during this time of social distancing. Remember, steel sharpens steel and a bundle of sticks is not easily broken.

2020 Boot Camp – We are still developing the list of people interested in attending this training. Boot Camp is 32 hours of training to help new business officers survive and thrive in their new role as a School Business Officer. Boot Camp is also a good option to training staff that may become the next business officer. Although we still need to meet with the hotel staff to determine their social distancing policies, we are planning on conducting Boot Camp in the traditional manner. One of the biggest benefits our attendees receive from boot camp is the personal relationships that are developed with other SBOs. At this time, we have not decided to offer Boot Camp in a hybrid model.

2020 SFO Study Group – School Finance and Operations certification is issued by ASBO International. For the past two years, we have conducted an SFO study group during our fall conference to help SBOs to be prepared for the exam. We are still planning on conducting the SFO study group and we are looking for members that are interested. If you are interested in participating in the 2020 study group, please email us at nmasbo@nmasbo.org.

Webinars – For the past two months we have conducted several webinars, which have been well attended. We are planning on doing more Member Link webinars in the 2020/21 fiscal year. We will keep you informed as we develop the webinar schedule.

I hope you are staying safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing you soon.


In this edition of our newsletter, our member spotlight is on Jodie Maestas. Jodie is the Finance Director for the Bloomfield Schools and has been for the past four years. She has been in school business for 10 years but started her school career in the classroom at Jemez Mountain School District before moving into the business office. In additional to her day job at Bloomfield Schools, her night job is the Finance Director for REC #1. She is also a graduate of the first NMASBO Boot Camp in 2011.

"Jodie Maestas has been an amazing partner as the Director of Finance. She is very committed to the staff and students of Bloomfield. Under her leadership, the operations and financial management of the district runs very smoothly. She contributes to the collaborative efforts of the administration and supports the school sites well. She is a true asset to the district." - Dr. Kimberly Mizell, Ph.D. Superintendent Bloomfield Schools

Community Social Responsibility Campaign

Teresa Scott, Region 3

The fiscal year is coming to an end and I am certain we all have a lot of accomplishments of which we can be proud, especially during these uncertain times. We can all be proud of the joint effort of business officials in the State of New Mexico in our Community Social Responsibility campaign. School business officials are some of the most selfless and giving individuals in our communities. I love to see us come together in a way that is visible to our members and the public so they can have some insight into how we do so much to help children.

This year, the NMASBO Membership and Board raised $1,923.08 for Special Olympics New Mexico for our 2019-2020 Social Responsibility Campaign. My heart goes out to you all for making this happen. As stated before, "The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community."

Below is a heartfelt thank you from the Executive Director of Special Olympics New Mexico.

Randy Mascorella, Special Olympics New Mexico Executive Director

Our efforts on behalf of Special Olympics New Mexico was our 5th Annual Social Responsibility Campaign and I hope you all agree that the check presentation is one of the highlights of Spring Budget Workshop each year, but this year was a little different with the cancellation of the event.

If you know of a charitable organization we can partner with for the 2020-2021 Social Responsibility Campaign please reach out to the NMASBO Team.

As we wrap things up this year, I just want to conclude with a big thank to everyone who donated to SONM. When I meet people and they ask what I do, I am always proud to say that I am School Business Official because I am part of a select group of dedicated individuals. So, be proud of yourselves, business officials; you are vital people in your communities and they are fortunate to have you.

2020 School Business Official of the Year Roadrunner Award

Teresa Scott, Region 3

NMASBO is committed to developing public awareness and appreciation of public school business leaders and the value they add to the daily operations of schools. We do this through recognizing the School Business Official of the Year, which is awarded annually at the Spring Budget Workshop in Albuquerque, NM. Due to the event's cancellation, NMASBO recognized the award winner virtually.

Feel free to reach out to Cheryl Whitener from Texico Municipal Schools to congratulate her. Mrs. Whitener was chosen as the 2020 NMASBO/Equitable's School Business Official of the Year Roadrunner Award. Her colleagues, Superintendent and other staff recognize her as an outstanding leader. Here are few quotes from her nomination:

“Mrs. Whitener single-handedly led the Texico Municipal Schools to unheralded financial strength and to become a top school district in New Mexico! She kept the accounts solid and secure. She was a leader in the business field, but she also led Texico Schools to prominence for the last 29 years. She is to be applauded for the many different strategies used to keep average teachers' salaries in the top 10 in New Mexico even though Texico Schools only had an average of 546 students over the last 29 years...For many years Cheryl Whitener has been and continues to be the right arm of the Superintendent and the HEARTBEAT of the school district. She understands school business, student instruction, the funding formula, accounting principles, school principals, and activity accounts! She knows when to show leadership, when to listen and how to work with strong willed Superintendents and many different flavors of school board members. If there were an icon for Texico Schools, it would be a picture of Mrs. Whitener. Mrs. Cheryl Whitener is and has been the backbone of Texico Municipal Schools for the last 29 years and I for one, pray for many years to come.” – Robert Brown, Superintendent of Texico Municipal Schools

It is an honor to serve on the committee that chose this outstanding professional for this award. I want to express a special thank you to the full committee that assisted in this process: Sandra Ashcraft, Ruidoso Municipal Schools; Claire Cieremans, Los Lunas Public Schools; Thad Phipps, Artesia Public Schools; Martin Romine, Zuni Public Schools; Carmen Spann, REC 9 Ruidoso and Sandy Traczyk, Los Lunas Public Schools .

The SBO of the Year Roadrunner Award is proudly sponsored by Equitable

NMPSIA Premium Rates for School Budgets

Chris Parrino, Charter Rep

Click here to view the benefits premium rate schedules and they are posted under nmpsia.com > Members > Premium Rates and nmpsia.com > Benefits Specialists > Premium Rates tabs. Risk premium rates were sent out by Poms & Associates via email last Friday and hard copies of the binders were mailed on Monday. Poms & Associates can be reached via email at rservices@pomsassoc.com if schools have any questions on those rates.

How to Renew Your 2020-21 Membership

Jessica Montaño, Deputy Director

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

  • Your membership will expire 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.

ASBO International Dues & Membership Benefits

"Surviving this epidemic has proven to be quite challenging. The support I have received from ASBO International has been priceless. You realize your situation isn’t quite so unique; Finance Directors from across the nation are experiencing the same issues and concerns. The sharing of memos, policies, information, and solutions has been extremely valuable! Thank you ASBO International!" - Jodie Maestas, Finance Director Bloomfield Schools

This year when you renew your district/charter/REC membership under your master account, you may want to consider adding the ASBO International membership.

Associate Member Corner

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 new rate schedule:

Please click here for more information.

Upcoming Event Schedule:

  • 2020 Fall Conference: September 16-18, 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

We appreciate your continued support and look forward to maintaining a great relationship with your company for many years to come. Please send any questions or changes to your account to jaryn@nmasbo.org.

2020 HS Scholarship Recipients

Sarah Stubbs, SFO, Scholarship Committee Chair

NMASBO is continuing to support graduates who are attending NM Universities and Colleges in the fall of 2020. Scholarships, for many students, are the only way they can go to college. NMASBO has made a long-term financial commitment to continue to offer multiple scholarships to graduating high school students and now college students throughout New Mexico.

This year, there were over 124 high school applications submitted and, of those, only 48 were complete and eligible for evaluation. The scholarships were divided by Region and the online Reviewr application was utilized for the third time for the high school scholarships, drastically streamlining the process and saving time for our volunteers.

Each student has a unique story and, no doubt, a need for this scholarship. It was a very hard to score each of them and I thank our Scholarship Committee who graciously volunteered their time to fairly score these applications.

If you are interested in serving on the Scholarship Review Committee, please let me know at sstubbs@portalesschools.com so I can get you added to our committee! We could not complete this job without the contribution of your time and thank you to the following volunteers: Sandra Ashcraft, Ruidoso Municipal Schools;Teresa Casias, Wagon Mound Public Schools; Jeannie Harris, Dexter Consolidated Schools; Bonnie Hoke, Socorro Consolidated Schools; Patrick Kelly, Media Arts Collaborative Charter; Krystal Marquez, Bernalillo Public Schools; Ludym Martinez, Gadsden Independent School District; Teresa Scott, Albuquerque Public Schools; Carmen Spann, REC 9 Ruidoso; and Anna Wastchak, Quemado Independent Schools!

Have You Completed Your 2020 Census?

Rennette Apodaca, Albuquerque Public Schools

The most recent numbers report that only 44% of New Mexicans had responded to the 2020 Census. It is very important that everyone be counted. The census determines where resources go and don’t go, impacts political pull of each state, and helps communities plan for the future.

Obtaining an accurate 2020 census should be a priority for all New Mexicans, in order for our state to receive resources and representation. Responding to the 2020 Census can be done at my2020census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020. It takes fewer than 10 minutes, but will affect the next 10 years.

Jeannie Harris, Region 6

The NMASBO Training Committee and staff are working hard on planning our fall conference, scheduled for September 16 - 18, 2020 at Buffalo Thunder. We know the Fall Conference will be different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not know if we will have travel restrictions or what the executive order will be regarding large gatherings in September. Also, we do not know if the hotel is going to limit the number of attendees due to room size and continued social distancing policies. Regardless, we are planning a Fall Conference that will meet your continuing education needs, but we may have to operate a little differently than we have in the past.

We are planning a “hybrid” conference. What is a “hybrid” conference? It is a conference that offers attendees an option. We are still planning on meeting face-to-face in the traditional fashion, while also conducting webinars of selected sessions from the conference. In addition, we make webinars available after the conference is concluded. This way, you can attend the conference when it is most convenient for you.

New Mexico’s situation dictates that NMASBO operate differently now and into the future. There will be advantages that come with the new format. We anticipate in a few years, after several conferences, we will have a library of training videos for the membership.

In planning for the Fall Conference, we will be sending a very short survey to our members and non-members to get an idea of how many will attend the live event and how many want the webinar option. Be on the lookout for the survey in the next few days.

We will send out the preliminary conference schedule after we get the survey results and visit with the hotel staff.

We are excited to continue providing training opportunities to you, even if the delivery is a bit different than in the past.

Click here to view Stan's Straight Talk article for April/May 2020.

Created By
Jessica Montano