School Business Affairs February 2021 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | FEBRUARY 2021 5 O ne of the most powerful presentations I have ever heard was from Manny Scott at the ASBO International Annual Meeting in 2016. Manny came from a troubled past with a childhood that caused him to lose hope. As he drifted in and out of the school sys- tem, one unlikely person helped turn his life around: a cafeteria worker who encouraged him to rise up and stay in school to continue his education. Manny later went on to fin- ish high school, receive undergraduate and master’s degrees, and is now working on his PhD in intercultural studies. He’s one of the original FreedomWriters. His life was turned around, at least in part, by a cafeteria worker— an employee much like you and I have in our schools today. Unfortunately, many of our students have childhood experiences similar to Manny’s. Our districts have the opportunity to pro- vide the quality educational experience that can turn hopelessness into success. District ancillary services play a major role in shaping the quality of the district educational experience, from the bus driver’s greeting early in the morning, to the clean and safe building environment students learn in, to the nutritious meals served sev- eral times during the day, to the students’ safe delivery back home by the bus driver. I truly believe that each and every district has gone above and beyond to deliver what its students need during the pandemic. We were faced with unforeseen conditions, and with school business leaders’ guidance and cooperation, we were able to use our collec- tive creative problem-solving skills to provide the necessary leadership for students and staff. We safely transport students to school on the busses not set up for social distancing. We provide nutritional meals to students and their families who depend on them. One of the highlights of serving on the ASBO International Board of Directors is getting to know the association’s state affili- ate leaders and their members. Through these connections, I have heard so many inspiring stories about what school person- nel have done to work through the chal- lenges of the pandemic. For example, New Jersey’s Union City Public Schools has served more than two million meals to stu- dents since their closure in March 2020. Transportation employees have switched gears and delivered meals to students when schools were closed. Custodial staff are making sure students and staff are working and learning in a safe environment. Technol- ogy departments quickly created the means to switch to remote learning in the middle of a school year. Eastern Carver County Schools in Chaska, Minnesota made a video of stu- dents thanking staff for all they have done. Take a couple of minutes to watch it at & We don’t always do a good job of shar- ing our successes. As we continue to move forward, please tell the public the story of your schools. Connect with your commu- nities and share how you are working for them. Let’s celebrate our accomplishments by thanking our staffs—they don’t hear it often enough. Thank you for making our schools places that continue to provide for the needs of our students during the most challenging of times. You can be that one person to help turn a student’s life around. Serving Our Students 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