Congratulations to the 2015 Pinnacle Award recipients! The Pinnacle Awards recognize outstanding practices and new ideas that result in significant contributions for school districts and the school business profession.

Pinnacle of Excellence Award Recipient

Amy Kohl

Amy T. Kohl, CSRM
Director of Business Services
School District of Greenfield
Greenfield, Wisconsin

Senior Tax Exempt Program (S.T.E.P.)
Greenfield School District believes that all learning begins with relationships. Through the Senior Tax Exempt Program, senior citizens have an opportunity to share their knowledge with the students while earning a tax credit, and the students learn from and develop relationships with these integral members of the community. In addition, the district saves money by utilizing the seniors rather than hiring additional support staff.

Pinnacle of Achievement Award Recipients

Kelly Benusa

Kelly A. Benusa, CPA, RSBO, SFO
Director of Business Services
ISD 279 - Osseo Area Schools
Maple Grove, Minnesota

Development of a Long-Range Financial Planning Framework
The framework, developed through the collaboration of all the district’s stakeholders, including parents, community members, district and school administrators, teachers, and staff, resulted in a highly transparent budgeting process that aligns resources to the district’s mission and strategic priorities, minimizes the effects of budget reductions in the classroom, and provides clear communication with stakeholders.

Charlotte Gates

Charlotte Gates
Director of Business Services
Sahuarita Unified School District
Sahuarita, Arizona

Combining Resources to Enhance Services to Neighboring Elementary District
Through the program, Sahuarita USD provides business management services to a smaller neighboring district, giving the smaller district the expertise it needs without having to hire a school business manager. The overall savings for the neighboring district over three years was $75,000. In addition, Sahuarita USD received enough money for the business services it provided that it was able to hire a business coordinator to help manage services for both districts.  

Michelle Hamilton

Michelle L. Hamilton
Director of Purchasing
Mesa Public Schools
Mesa, Arizona

Technology Expo Embedded Within a Statewide RFP for Hardware/Software
Mesa Public Schools had a goal to expand the innovative use of technology in the classroom. Teams of teachers could apply to be innovation teams, and as part of the application process, they needed to review and select devices and software they would implement in the classroom to increase student achievement.  Hamilton worked inside and outside the district to create a technology expo where vendors showcased their products and teachers had an opportunity for hands-on experience.   

View past Pinnacle Award recipients.