School Business Affairs January 2021 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | JANUARY 2021 5 W elcome to 2021! I’ll bet many of us couldn’t say those words soon enough. Amid the myriad global events of the past year, from political elections to social unrest to food insecurity, hands down the most critical issue we faced and are still facing is the global pandemic. I remember well Sunday evening, March 15, 2020, when our superintendent announced that our district would be shutting down for at least two weeks as we evaluated our opera- tions and adjusted to how we could best serve our students academically and emotionally during a pandemic. We were in uncharted ter- ritory and it was clear that we would need to rely on others to help us through this crisis. As ASBO International’s president, the theme I chose for this year—Connect, Share, Succeed—stresses that we are not alone in our professional journey; we must rely on each other so we may be as effective as possible in our jobs—whether we are facing a pandemic or any other challenges. First and foremost, we must connect and share with our state and provincial affiliate members as well as our ASBO International counterparts from around the world to learn what has worked well—and not so well—for them. Even though we live in different geo- graphic regions, we face many of the same or similar issues. I recently had the privilege of participating in several international Zoom meetings during which we discussed what measures each coun- try was taking to serve students in a pandemic. It was amazing to hear the passion in our colleagues’ voices as we all discussed creative ways to keep our schools open, either in-per- son, remotely, or through hybrid models. ASBO International’s Global School Busi- ness Network is an excellent way to connect to other ASBO International members by asking school business-related questions that arise. Recent topics have included FEMA reimburse- ment issues, legislative issues, business office procedures, and monthly board of education reporting. As ASBO International continues to roll out a new district membership model, the number of participants in this network will continue to grow. Please take the time to access the network and ask a question or respond to a fellow member. I am honored to serve as ASBO Interna- tional president in the upcoming year. I am fortunate to have a board that is dedicated to making the decisions that advance the mission of ASBO International. Please get to know the board members on the network and, in a more personal way, as they are introduced in this issue of School Business Affairs . We look forward to the time when we can get out to greet affiliate members during our state visits, talk directly with the members, and get an idea of what issues you are facing. Your input is vital as we seek to deliver the profes- sional development that you need. I am also fortunate to work with an amaz- ing ASBO International staff that has had to adapt in their positions much as we have had to in our districts. They continue to provide us with ways to connect and share so that we can succeed as an organization. I applaud each of you for your role as a school business official during these difficult times. Your dedication and problem-solving skills have been evident as we have navigated the past and as we continue to forecast our districts’ financial futures. As we move forward, remember that you are not alone on your journey—we must all connect as a network and share ideas so that we will succeed in providing every child the education they deserve. We’re In This Together By Ed Chabal president’s message Ed Chabal Chief Financial Officer Mt. Pleasant (Iowa) Community School District Claire Hertz, CSBA, SFO Immediate Past President Wanda Erb Director through 2023 Aubrey Kirkpatrick Director through 2023 2021 Board of Directors Bill Sutter, SFO Vice President David Ginsberg Director through 2022 Susan Harkin, SFO Director through 2021 Ryan Stechschulte Director through 2022 John Hutchison, CPA, SFO Director through 2021 David J. Lewis Executive Director