| Volume 13 | 2nd Quarterly Newsletter | Issue 2 |
Be courageous and accept change...easier said than done. I have been around School Business for a long time and the one thing that never changes is that things are always changing.
We work with constant deadlines and pressure to get things done faster. When we have our schedules full with important things, all needing immediate attention, all it takes is a phone call or email to detour us in a different direction for the day. Being able to accept that we accomplished nothing we intended to do on a given day requires patience and hope in the promise that tomorrow will be quiet and more productive.
I smile when I hear people say, “That is the way we have always done it!” I like to come back with, “That’s awesome! Now let’s figure out why we’ve always done it that way and as certain whether it still make sense moving forward?” I agree change can be scary, but the reality is, it should be encouraging. Change can mean progress, efficiency, or simply a necessity in order to accomplish what we need to get done.
We are all good at what we do. It is impossible to try to see every unforeseen circumstance that is coming our way. This is true in life as well as our jobs as School Business Officials. We provide numbers that do not lie, but we also need to try to be flexible and supportive as we encounter new adventures, a.k.a., new mandates.
My topic of being flexible with change was magnified earlier this month for NMASBO Winter Conference. The host hotel threw us a curve ball as we opened up the registration for this February’s Winter Conference. It was at this time that the hotel called to inform us that they had the NMASBO Winter Conference on their schedule for the week before. Terry, Jessica, and Jaryn all had moments of panic, anger, and fear. They scrambled to get the dates corrected or to quickly try to secure another venue. After much distress, the decision was made to move forward with the dates the week before our original conference dates. This was not an easy decision and, going forward, we will work to make sure this does not happen again. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.
The change of our conference date ties us back to the original topic of dealing with change. This is one of our strong suits--the moments when we can roll with the punches thrown our way and try to make the best of the situation. It is definitely one of our superpowers as School Business Officials.
Thank you all for your support and understanding. On behalf of NMASBO and myself, I want to wish everyone a safe and blessed Holiday Season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you at Winter Conference!
From the Executive Director's Desk
Changing My Hairdo
There are times during which I strongly resist changing my established practice. When I go to a familiar restaurant, I order the same thing almost every time. For example, I like getting a breakfast burrito at Blake’s. I always get the #4 (the Classic) with green. I never vary my order. I already know I like it, so why should I get something else? There are those rare occasions when I allow myself to be persuaded to try something new. But, I usually don’t like it and I regret not getting my usual menu selection.
However, there are those situations wherein I accept the inevitable and embrace the change. A good example of that is my hair. Since graduating from high school, I had the same hair style; short, over the ears and parted on the left. Somewhere through the years, my genetic code became increasingly evident and a new hair style became apparent. So, I started “buzzing” the small quantity of hair that I had remaining. However, there are those times when I feel exceptionally daring and adventurous and I apply the razor to the stubble.
I tell you all this because I know that alterations can be good. In fact, the NMASBO Board has decided that it is time for a change. The adjustment is designed to improve the benefits provided to our members. We have started the process of implementing an Association Management Software package. There are many reasons why we have made this decision. The most prevailing are:
- Improve the interaction of the members with each other;
- Improve the flow of information without flooding your inbox;
- Improve the process of providing professional development documents to members;
- Provide members access to their professional development transcripts for licensure; and
- Provide the ability to create a resource library for the members.
Typically, any change like this may be met with some resistance. However, the NMASBO team is up for the challenge. We plan on rolling out the new platform immediately after the Spring Budget Workshop. Please know that will be working on the implementation and we are confident the changes will be positive.
Registration for the 2019 Winter Conference to be held at Embassy Suites in Albuquerque is open. If you haven’t already, sign up now and reserve your hotel room because this year’s Winter Conference is going to be a good one.
The conference begins Wednesday the 13th and is filled with an assortment of topics, board elections, networking events and an exhibit expo. We are very excited about Wednesday afternoon's general session speaker, David Rendall. Check out his website for a preview: www.drendall.com.
This year, we tried something new at the Fall Conference – one track specific to one area--school safety and security. The feedback received on this format was positive and encouraging. To continue this practice, the Winter Conference will provide one track focused on human resource and payroll topics. Specific subjects have been chosen based on the Fall Conference survey and on questions that are posted on NMASBO’s listserv. Other professional development focuses on areas such as travel and training, budget preparation, p-cards, procurement and the upcoming legislative session. Per pupil expenditure reporting information, suggestions and ideas will also be discussed. The training committee and the NMASBO staff have worked diligently to schedule relevant topics and knowledgeable presenters.
As licensed School Business Officials, 16 contact hours per year of training or coursework must be completed in order to maintain PED School Business Official licensure. The Winter Conference provides at least 12 of those needed hours, so make plans to attend.
NMASBO’s mission is to lead the New Mexico school business profession by providing quality professional development opportunities and a network of support. Likewise, our organization is also all about sharing and networking with our colleagues to learn from and teach each other. This conference will also allow time to network with our peers in a social atmosphere and will let us strengthen relationships with our vendors. We are looking forward to seeing you in Albuquerque in a few short weeks.
The 2018 Fall Conference certificates were mailed out Tuesday, November 20. Thank you for your patience while your conference hours were being certified. If you have not received your certificate this may be why:
- The white copy of your course hour form was not turned in or received.
- The online course hour form was not submitted.
Both are required in order to receive the certificate of completion. If you did not receive a certificate or have any questions, please contact Jaryn Schaumburg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NMASBO Regional Elections
“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” -John Maxwell
Do you think you are ready to help motivate other business officials across the state? Then I want to encourage you to weigh your options and consider running for the NMASBO Board in our next election.
Regions 1, 5 and 6 all have seats up for election to the NMASBO Board. I have included below a list of schools that fall in each district.
As NMASBO continues to strive to meet the needs of our members this year, we will be implementing digital voting. Anytime you roll out a new program, there can be unforeseen obstacles but as we work through those opportunities we plan for the process to go as follows:
- 01/07/2019 – Official call for nominations
- 02/05/2019 – Information for all candidates due
- 02/12/2019 – Candidate information sent to membership
- 02/13-02/15/2019 – Winter Conference – Candidates are introduced to membership
- 02/15/2019 – Electronic polls open
- 02/21/2019 – Polls close
- 02/22/2019 – Inform candidates of results and wait for acceptance of office
- 02/28/2019 – Membership notified of election results
- 07/01/2019 – Winners take office
Again, I encourage you all to consider to be ready to submit your name on 01/07/2019 when we have the official call for nominations. If you have any questions, please reach out to me directly! email@example.com
Several years ago, ASBO International introduced the SFO© certification program. SFO© stands for Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations. To become an SFO©, the candidate must satisfy ASBO International’s eligibility requirements and pass an exam to evidence their mastery of the competencies. The competencies tested by the SFO© Exam surpass the New Mexico requirements for the School Business Official’s license as stated in NMAC 126.96.36.199.
To be eligible to sit for the exam, the candidate must have: 1) A Master’s Degree in a field related to school business and a minimum of two years of experience in the field of school business; 2) A Bachelor’s Degree in a field related to school business and a minimum of three years of experience in the field of school business, or; 3) Seven years of experience as a school business official (approval is based upon the seasoned practitioner provision).
In September, NMASBO conducted a study group to help nine candidates prepare for the exam and all passed the exam. Those taking the exam were: Martin Romine from Zuni Public Schools, Teresa Casias from Wagon Mound Public Schools, Kimberly Stone from Capitan Municipal Schools, German Martinez from Grants-Cibola County Schools, Leslie Pearce from Tatum Municipal Schools, Vickie Garcia from Jemez Valley Public Schools, Brenda Gallegos from Pecos Independent Schools, Sarah Stubbs from Portales Municipal Schools and Terry Dean from NMASBO.
In talking about the study group, Martin Romine said, “What is great about belonging to this group is that everyone is ready, willing, and able to share their knowledge and experience to help us all succeed. If you are thinking about sitting for the exam, or even if you are not, make it a goal. Write it down, plan for it, and schedule it. You may not want to take it this year but don’t put it off too long. The satisfaction of receiving that certificate stating that you truly do know what you are doing is incomparable.”
Horace Mann is a Partner with ASBO International and they have paid to frame the certificates for the individuals who passed the exam. NMASBO will be presenting these individuals with the framed certificates at our Winter Conference that is February 13–15 at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque.
If you missed the study group in the fall, we will be conducting a study group again at the 2019 Fall Conference in Las Cruces on September 18 - 20. NMASBO offers a reimbursement program for the successful completion of the exam. Come join the fun and don’t miss out on this opportunity.
SFO – School Finance and Operations certified--sounds great feels great: It is a 150 question test that I do not ever want to take again! Really, though, it is just a test that verifies whether we truly know enough about what we do each and every day to qualify us for the ASBO International seal of approval. Before taking the test, I wondered and worried about whether I really had learned and knew what I needed to know to pass it or if my ego was just too large for my own good. At the Fall Conference a group of us came together to review, study, and share knowledge and insight we had gained over the years as we filled the vital role of business managers in our respective districts. It was that study time with my peers that helped push me over the top. Everyone in the study group had questions that needed answers and every member of the group brought answers to the questions asked. I had thought about taking the test for a couple of years but had not made the commitment prior to last summer. The timing felt right; NMASBO was very supportive with the study group and with the reimbursement of the fee, and there was a group of like-minded business officials who were ready to come together and blaze the path for others in the state to take the test and receive their certification.
Congratulations 2018 Boot Camp Attendees
NMASBO held another successful Boot Camp October 15-19, with 29 attendees. Congratulations to the class of 2018 Boot Camp Survivors.
“Stan’s Straight Talk”
Stan Rounds, Executive Director, NMCEL
This November has seen the General Election finish and we want to welcome our new Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham as our newest partner in the new role she is entering. As we make this transition into the future, I am reminded that we are in one of the most critical times for public education in New Mexico. As the Governor-elect and her administration take over the leadership of the State PED, it is incumbent that we map a course that will ensure that our students will be ready for their future and that we have a plan to ensure that the graduates from our public schools are well readied.
As a Coalition, with the insights of our Superintendents and others, we have launched “A Vision to Transform Education in New Mexico – 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future,” which we featured in our October Straight Talk. The finalized document is linked to the NMCEL website — 2019 Policy Recommendations for a Better Future.
This insightful work, completed by our New Mexico School Superintendents Association and endorsed by our NMCEL Board of Directors clearly defines, from a practitioner’s lens, the critical areas of focus and legislative action that must happen for us to meet our mission. It includes developing the Profile of a New Mexico Graduate which allows us to focus our mission with the end in mind. It places significance on the necessity that stable and sufficient funding be provided to assure that long-term, right-sized funding be calculated into the base. It reflects the significant crisis that we currently face to develop, recruit and retain human capital and sets targeted actions that will accomplish that end. It focuses on the implementation of an equitable delivery system and progress monitoring and compels the renewed effort to restructure our instructional delivery system to meet the requirements of the future. And, it importantly insists that the State’s educational statutes must include ongoing advice from educational practitioners by enacting an “Education Practitioner Advisory Council.”
With the 2019 Legislative Session imminent, now is the time for us to be active, clear and unified in our discussions with the new Governor’s Transition Team and our Legislators in urging them to implement the Policy Recommendations in this legislative cycle. With more than $1.5 billion in recurring and non-recurring funds, there is no more essential action that must be taken than to focus on our public education system and the sufficient funding necessary to serve ALL of our students. The pressure to do the right thing is even more pronounced as the Yazzie/Martinez Lawsuit imminently overlooks the actions of our Executive and Legislative leadership.
The time to lead is now!
Charter School Committee
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed." –Napolean Hill
The quote above embodies what I hope the newly formed NMASBO Charter School Committee can achieve. At the end of the day, all of us in education are literally in the business of helping others to succeed, specifically the children of our great State. Regardless of what your position in Charter Schools may be, the fact of the matter is that Charter Schools have a significant role to play in public education. So, if you want education to succeed in this State, you should want success for all--Traditional and Charter. That being said, Charter Schools and the entities that work with them have faced a great number of challenges over the decades since their inception, particularly in the arena of school finance.
With that in mind, I developed a committee structure that I believe is inclusive of various stakeholders with respect to Charter School Finance. As of the time of this publication, we have met once to confirm that the committee structure I proposed was one that was agreeable to the committee. There was a consensus that we should go with the proposed format, so the committee has been structured as follows:
- Chris Parrino – Chairman, NMASBO Charter Representative
- David Vigil – District Charter SBO
- Sean Fry – District Charter SBO
- Harry Browne – State Charter SBO
- Betty Seeley – State Charter SBO
- Michael Vigil – Contracted Business Management Consultant
- David Craig – PED Director of SBF
- Judy Bergs – APS Manager of Charter School Business
- Karen Woerner – Charter School Division Appointee
- Matthew Pahl – Charter School Coalition Appointee
As you can see, the Committee consists of 10 individuals: one NMASBO Representative, two District Charter School, two State Charter School, one Charter School Business Management Firm Representative, one PED Finance Personnel, one District Authorizer, one Charter School Division (State Authorizer) Representative and one Charter School Coalition Representative. The intent in having all these different perspectives on board is so we can have very thoughtful discussions on the issues we are facing and that those different perspectives can succeed in bringing about fundamental improvements for all the stakeholders, which translates to fundamental improvements for kids in our State.
At our next meeting, our agenda basically consists of two areas: training and other matters the committee should address. I tasked each member to come up with up to 10 items that would like to discuss under those two areas and have received some great feedback. We will review ideas from the members and hammer out items we really want to push the NMASBO Training Committee to address and items that we want to further develop in later meetings. We intend to meet quarterly via web conferences with at least one face-to-face meeting at an NMASBO Conference.
I hope you all share my excitement about this committee. I believe that if everyone involved stays true to the idea that, together, we can help others to succeed, then this committee can only be a force for positive change. I also encourage you all to review the list of the committee members and reach out to any one of them with matters you might like to see addressed. Any one of us will be happy to discuss any pertinent matter and will be thankful you reached out!
On that note, as we enter into the holiday season, I just want to extend sincere gratitude to every one of you in school business! I am very thankful to be a part of what I consider one of the elite groups of professionals in our State! May each and every one of you has a safe and joyful holiday season and spend it the company of friends and loved ones!
The Children's Hope Foundation
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." ―Margaret Mead