Pinnacle of Excellence Award Recipient
Clark J. Godshall, Ed.D., RSBA
Medina, New York
Adult and Veteran Educational Outreach
What began as elementary school students’ desire to help local homeless and disabled veterans blossomed into a collaboration among education providers, community-based organizations, veterans’ agencies, and the public to bring awareness to and help the vast number of local veterans in need of food, shelter, skills, and support. Clark Godshall championed the development and implementation of several initiatives to reach out to adults and veterans, including Literacy Zone, a continuing education adult literacy program that welcomes veterans and their families to participate in activities to increase literacy levels, obtain a GED, learn computer skills, and improve job-readiness skills. The program shows children and adults the value of continuing education—it’s lifelong learning at its best.
Pinnacle of Achievement Award Recipients
Michael G. Frank, CPA, MBA, SDA
Assistant Superintendent for Business
New Hyde Park–Garden City Park UFSC
New Hyde Park, New York
Bringing Predictability for Healthcare Costs to the Budget Process
New Hyde Park–Garden City Park Schools ends its fiscal year on June 30, but its main healthcare provider provides premium updates on a calendar year basis, making budgeting for healthcare costs difficult. To bring predictability to the budget process, Michael Frank worked with his team to develop a budget process whereby for the first six months of the calendar year, the district shares the cost of insurance with the employee based on a percentage split; for the last six months, the district pays its percentage contribution based on a “presumed rate.” When the actual rate is established, the employee pays the difference. The result is true budget savings on health insurance and reallocation of “surplus” to programs that promote student achievement.
Paul G. Harrell, CPA
Deputy Superintendent for Finance and Operations
North Kansas City Schools
Kansas City, Missouri
Partnership for Creation of an Innovative Learning Space
Innovation Campus is a flexible, open, shared environment that houses North Kansas City Schools’ gifted education program. Opened in 2016, it is the first space dedicated specifically to gifted students’ learning. Under the guidance of Paul Harrell, the campus grew from a partnership between the city of Gladstone, the school district, and Northwest Missouri State University. The city financed and built the campus, and the district rents the needed space. The majority of the furniture is movable and there are few walls, so students can easily find an area to huddle for cooperative project planning or spread their work out. The new environment is technology-rich, giving students opportunities to pursue their interests in areas such as STEAM, animation, robotics, and 3-D printing.
Chief Financial Officer
Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation
Financing 21st Century Technology with the Help of Rebates
Purchasing almost 4,000 devices as part of a 1:1 initiative and updating Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation’s infrastructure on a short timeline required a $2.5 million investment. Undaunted by the challenge, Brian Tomamichel spearheaded a strategy that entailed taking out a four-year $2.5 million loan from a local bank and offsetting most of the interest through a credit card 1% cash-back rebate program. The district worked with the bank, credit card company, and vendors to set up a process whereby the district could make large purchases with its credit card—such as $1.8 million worth of technology equipment—and take advantage of the rebate. Between 2015 and 2016, the district received almost $71,000 in cash back from the program, which has helped the district further expand the technology program.