Kurt Kaup, SFO
Member Spotlight from March 30, 2017
Kurt Kaup found his way into school business like quite a few of his peers. He began as an auditor in public accounting, and school districts were among his clients. He joined Orchard Farm R-V School District in St. Charles, Missouri, as the director of accounting more than 11 years ago and has served as its chief financial officer for the past two and a half years.
The 1,859-student district has grown 25% in the past five years and currently serves students in two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and an early learning center. The district has the county’s first FEMA-safe room that serves as the early learning center cafeteria and is used as a training and board room as well. Thanks to its focus on technology and a successful 1:1 digital learning initiative over the past four years, Orchard Farm R-V is on the path to be named a Future Ready district.
One of the district’s biggest challenges was facing a tax increment financing (TIF) extension, which resulted in revenue losses. Kurt’s auditing background enabled him to look into the city CAFR to ask more detailed questions, and along with his superintendent, he spent countless hours researching and reviewing documents. They unfortunately learned that all involved parties were working to serve their individual interests and failed to see the school's perspective. Thanks to thinking outside the box, the district hired a professional who clarified the facts within the 2,338-page TIF documents, which eventually led to revenue increases. To date, the district has received nearly $3 million over three years.
Kurt credits ASBO International for many useful tips that have guided him through his everyday challenges. “It is critical to attend the annual meeting and go to as many topics and discussions as possible to truly appreciate, realize, and reflect upon all the resources that exist at your fingertips,” Kurt says. “You will feel connected to the profession, and that is a powerful thing.”
Whether or not he’s on the job, Kurt gives his all, living by the mantra, “Life is short. Get into the batter’s box and take a swing.”
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