Candidate for Director
Mindy Stooksbury, Ed.D., RBSA, PHR, IPMA-CP
Director of Fiscal Services
Maryville City Schools
Mindy Stooksbury is the Director of Fiscal Services for Maryville City Schools (TN). In this position, she is responsible for accounting, budgeting, payroll, and human resources. Mindy has been with the district since 1995. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership as well as professional designations including RSBA, PHR, and IPMA-CP.
Mindy is passionate about ASBO and has been a member since 1999. In 2006, she received a Pinnacle of Achievement award and an NSU-ASBO Doctoral Scholars Program scholarship. She is currently the Chair of the Human Resources Committee, Secretary/Treasurer of the Certification Commission, and a reviewer for the MBA Program.
Mindy and her husband, Joel, live in Louisville, TN, and are expecting their first child in June.
My vision for ASBO revolves around two main areas: sustainability and collaboration with a connection between the two using professional development. ASBO should focus on sustainability of the association, with an emphasis on membership (retaining/growing), financial solvency and membership value. Association benefits gained by a member should clearly outweigh the cost of membership, as providing great benefits will assist ASBO in sustainability. Offering world-class professional development provides opportunities for members to grow, thus placing added value on membership and assisting with financial solvency.
ASBO should also focus on collaboration, whether internal between members or external with other associations. Providing networking at conferences or through ConnectEd gives members opportunities to build relationships by sharing information and experiences. Collaborating with other associations provides ASBO opportunities to continue to promote our profession, the SFO credential and to help shape the future of education. As well, PD provides opportunities for members to work together, thereby building the relationships needed for collaboration.
Through collaboration, we can take ASBO to new heights and assist in its sustainability.
Given the perhaps permanent changes in the US economy with increased globalization and less funding for schools, what do you think are the most important areas that ASBO should focus professional development?
Due to the financial situation that we continue to face due to the faltering world economies, change continues to happen at an accelerated pace. We are all working with fewer resources, including reduced budgets and fewer employees, yet our responsibilities for fiscal accountability and transparency have continued to increase. Each of us has greater demands and requirements from governmental entities and from our constituents wanting us to ensure that we are being the best stewards of public monies.
With that said, professional development is an important benefit for ASBO’s members, as the association is poised to provide the most up-to-date, relevant information to SBOs. ASBO provides exceptional opportunities for PD that focus on the special set of skills and knowledge needed in school districts through a variety of training methods.
Given the state of education finance and increased globalization,
there are three key areas upon which ASBO should focus professional
development: financial planning and budgeting, legislative changes, and
(1) Financial planning and budgeting: The economic situation that we are dealing with has caused us to learn to work more effectively and efficiently. ASBO should provide training on new and innovative concepts, such as cost savings techniques, personnel allocation, budgeting techniques/strategies, and long-term financial planning.
(2) Legislative changes: With the continued economical changes, we are experiencing legislative changes, with governmental entities making adjustments to personnel laws, education funding formulas, education laws and healthcare. Training should be provided that would help ASBO members interpret and explain the legislative changes that impact their districts.
(3) Communication: SBOs must communicate budgets and financial reports, explain complicated rules and regulations, report both good and bad news, respond to requests and even testify in court. Having the best skills available can assist the SBO in effectively communicating so that recipients gain a better understanding of the subject.
How can ASBO increase its collaboration globally given the interdependent world economies and the outsourcing of education and distance on- line learning that is growing in K-12 education?
The world is becoming flatter and flatter as technology provides us with the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with our colleagues across the globe. This technology has also brought interdependency among us all. When one nation’s economy falters, there is a domino effect that causes us to feel it around the world even without direct involvement with that nation. The technology revolution is continuing to change how we do business in the education environment, not only on the instructional side with distance learning but also on the business side with outsourcing.
ASBO should work toward building strong relationships with other associations across the globe that represent SBOs at regional/national levels. If no association exists, then ASBO should work with current members from other nations, such as those in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and Nigeria, to assist in building membership so that our global members have a local network to lean upon. ASBO should also promote networking among members to encourage open communication, idea sharing, relationship-building and ultimately collaboration. Although everything that we do is not completed in the same fashion across the world, many concepts are the same and we are all working toward the same goal – educating children to the best of our ability.
With the launch of the SFO credential in 2010, what do you think are the next logical steps/directions for ASBO to pursue in regard to fostering awareness, promotion and acceptance of the SFO credential? What are the next steps, as you see it, for integrating the professional development ASBO or its affiliates provide with the new SFO credentialing exam?
The invention and implementation of the new professional credential
for SBOs – the SFO or the Certified Administrator of School
Finance and Operations – during 2010 has been a great milestone
for ASBO. Through both testing and experience, SBOs are earning a
credential that shows their dedication to the profession and ultimately
their dedication to the children in their districts. No other credential
is available that is based upon school finance and operations.
In order to foster awareness, promotion and acceptance of the SFO credential, ASBO should take several steps as outlined below.
(1) Use existing channels of communication, such as ConnectEd, conference programming, SBA and email, to promote awareness.
(2) Recognize newly certified SFOs, providing opportunities for them to share their personal experiences with others, thereby allowing participants to feel a sense of connection to the experience.
(3) Work with state/provincial affiliates. Encourage them to accept, recognize and support the program. Make it clear that although many affiliates have certification programs, the SFO program has been established to enhance and not replace those programs.
(4) Work with other professional associations, such as AASA, ASCD and NSBA, to help promote the SFO credential. Ensure that the district’s key positions understand the importance and value of having an SFO in the district.
(5) Have members of ASBO’s staff, Certification Commission or Board travel to meetings, whether state/provincial affiliates or other associations, to share information about the SFO credential. As the program grows, those holding the SFO credential could travel and assist with information sharing, as they have hands-on experience with the program that would provide a greater level of confidence to the listeners.
The implementation of the new SFO credentialing exam also provides a
need for professional development to prepare members for the exam.
Strong PD programs are important to the overall success of the program,
as they help to foster awareness, assist with promotion and provide
opportunities for members to accept the new program. When members have
opportunities to prepare for an exam, they are more likely to have a
successful exam experience and then share that positive experience with
others, thereby promoting the program.
ASBO’s professional development department should take the following steps to assist members with gaining knowledge for the SFO credentialing exam.
(1) Work closely with affiliates to determine the needs of affiliate members pertaining to test prep.
(2) For affiliates that already have certification programs, ASBO could assist with the integration of items from the SFO exam content outline into current training materials that would both enhance current training and prepare members for the SFO exam.
(3) New professional development could be developed by ASBO or colleges/universities that could be shared with affiliates and conducted at the state/provincial level at conferences.
Communication, collaboration and the sharing of experiences are keys to fostering awareness, promotion and ultimately acceptance of the new SFO credential as well as assisting with the future growth and overall success of the program.
Listen to complete interview.