Member Spotlight from July 6, 2017
For Anita Stugelmeyer, entering the field of school business meant being wished good luck as she was handed an orange three-ring binder! Her first day on the job as business manager of Lemmon School District 52-4 in Lemmon, South Dakota, was on July 7, 1986. If you’re reading this on July 6, 2017, you’ll note that tomorrow marks Anita’s 31st anniversary in the district!
Anita had previously served as an administrative coordinator working on loans for farmers and ranchers. When the organization closed in May 1986, she was in need of a job and applied to Lemmon School District. As she reviewed that orange accounting manual, Anita recalls wondering what she had gotten herself into, as the enclosed information was completely different from the accounting methods to which she had been accustomed.
“It was completely Greek to me,” Anita says. “I was hired without anyone to train me and just had to stumble through the first few months.” She credits much of the knowledge acquired in her early days to connections made with groups of area school business officials who met monthly to network and share their issues. “Thanks to their help, I am still here!” she says.
Located in a rural northwestern part of the state, Lemmon School District 52-4 covers 1,647 square miles across three counties. When Anita started in the district, it served over 600 students in grades K–12. Enrollment has declined dramatically during her tenure, to 274 students in the 2016–2017 school year. This resulted in budget reductions, including a $100,000 cut in a single year—a large cut for a small district.
However, Anita’s determination continues to keep the district on an even keel. She has been recognized for her outstanding efforts, including being selected as the South Dakota Outstanding School Business Official in 2015 and chosen as one of 12 SBOs to serve on ASBO International’s Job Task Analysis committee, which guided the establishment of the SFO certification program.
Anita stays as busy in her personal life as she does in the office. She and her husband Earl enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren and traveling to ASBO International and SDASBO events together—last year they even got into the spirit of SDASBO’s 50th anniversary!