Member Spotlight from October 5, 2017
After 15 years of working in automotive accounting, Amy Ransom sought a change. She saw an opening for an accounting position at a local school and although she had never carried out the cited required duties in a school district, she knew how to do all of them. As fate would have it, the superintendent of that district had worked in the automotive field in a previous career too—and she got the job!
That was 11 years ago, and since then, she has worked in several districts. In Amy’s native New Hampshire, many school districts are divided into School Administrative Units (SAU), each of which might include one or more communities. This past summer, Amy took on the role of assistant business administrator for SAU 50 in Greenland, New Hampshire.
Amy moved from the adjacent (and much larger) SAU 16 to SAU 50, which serves fewer than 925 students in four elementary schools and one middle school. She made the move to return to one of her primary reasons for getting into school business in the first place: to be close to the students. Back then, her office was within a school, so kids were all around her; today, her office is in an old colonial building next to a K–8 school.
“I was there on opening day as the kids and parents said the Pledge of Allegiance in front of the school,” Amy says. “I can see school buses outside my window. All of it is a reminder that I’m not just crunching numbers.”
Of course, she’s still crunching those numbers! Amy explains that the state of New Hampshire allots just $3,561 per student each year, which means districts across the state—which doesn’t have sales or income tax—need to find alternative sources to properly fund schools, doing that quite often through property taxes. Amy works tirelessly to streamline the district’s revenues and expenses. Her efforts on a successful software conversion led to her being named being named NHASBO’s business administrator of the year in 2016!
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