School Business Affairs December 2019 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | DECEMBER 2019 5 O ur young people spend the major- ity of their most crucial develop- mental years in school buildings. To ensure that time is positive and productive, we must provide safe, healthy school environments that inspire creativity, engagement, a sense of self and self-worth, and a commitment to being stewards of a bright future. Part of that responsibility includes educat- ing students in and about a healthy and sus- tainable environment. In Greening America’s Schools: Costs and Benefits, Gregory Kats reports on the benefits of sustainable K–12 facilities. When school executives were asked to share their views and experiences regard- ing green school performance compared with conventional schools, their responses were overwhelmingly positive. Consider this: • 87% cited reduced absenteeism. • 74% cited better ability to attract/retain teachers. • 72% cited improved community image. • 71% cited higher student performance. Clearly, sustainability contributes to enhanced student learning, reduced health and opera- tional costs, and increased school quality. Sustainability can serve as a powerful strategy and common ground to integrate the learning process and school operations. Sus- tainability can promote collaboration and pro- vide a strong connection among the district’s support services departments (facilities, school nutrition, transportation, purchasing, finance, human resources), academic departments, administration, teachers, students, parents, and the community. Examples of some potential areas or proj- ects for collaboration include energy conserva- tion, recycling, alternative transportation, and school gardens. These are all areas that fall within the realms of school business management. By working together and being committed to sustainable practices, we can make a differ- ence and positively impact the future for our students, our communities, our environment, and the generations to come. In Closing This column marks my final President’s Message. It truly has been an honor and privi- lege to have served this association and, most importantly, our members this past year. I am grateful for the opportunities I had to meet and get to know many of you while serving on the board. I am humbled by the awesome talent, enthusiasm, innovation, care, and commitment demonstrated by our members in serving their students, staff, and communities. I would like to recognize and thank my fellow ASBO International Board members and advisors: Chuck Peterson, Claire Hertz, Michael Johnston, Angela von Essen, Bill Sut- ter, Marvin Dereef, John Hutchison, Susan Harkin, Aubrey Kirpatrick, Karen Starr, Angie Peterman, and David Martell. I also want to thank Executive Director David Lewis and the ASBO International staff for their tremendous efforts, outstanding leadership, thoughtful insight, and support during the past year. And I want to thank all our members who served in leadership roles or other volunteer capacities in our association—you are what ASBO Inter- national is all about. ASBO International has made good progress in building the value of membership this past year. I am confident that the initiatives that are currently being implemented and that are in the planning stages will continue to enhance the value of ASBO International membership and our profession of school business manage- ment. Together we HAVE made a difference! On Sustainability By Tom Wohlleber, CSRM president’s message Tom Wohlleber Chief Financial Officer Casa Grande (Arizona) Elementary School District Charles E. Peterson, Jr. MBA, PRSBA, SFO Immediate Past President Marvin Dereef Jr., SFO Director through 2020 Bill Sutter, SFO Director through 2020 Michael Johnston Director through 2019 Angela Von Essen Director through 2019 2019 Board of Directors WORKING TOGETHER to ma ke a difference Claire Hertz, CSBA, SFO Vice President Susan Harkin, SFO Director through 2021 John Hutchison, CPA, SFO Director through 2021 David J. Lewis Executive Director