Member Spotlight from July 5, 2018
After playing college baseball, Todd Fleetwood hung up his cleats, graduated from Indiana Tech with a degree in business administration, and embarked on a career in banking. After working in banking for about nine years, he was presented with an opportunity to work for the local school district. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Fleetwood remembers. He found the transition moving from private to public sector challenging. It was not until he connected with a mentor that he felt he got his feet under him. “Looking back on the transition, I really learned a lot about myself and gained unique experiences that has shaped me into the person I’m today,” says Fleetwood.
Fleetwood has served as director of business and operation at Whitley County Consolidated Schools for a year. Prior to that, he was the business manager and transportation director at a neighboring district for seven years.
Whitley County in Indiana enrolls about 3550 students and employs a staff and faculty of 450. The system includes four elementary schools, one middle school, one technology academy, and one high school. They are currently in the throes of a building project for a new high school. It is set to be completed in 2020.
While working on a building project is exciting for Fleetwood, his first year at Whitley County has been challenging. “Before I started in my current position, the entire business office, a total of five employees, completely turned over due to retirements with more than twenty years of experience in each position,” says Fleetwood. The losses were disruptive. Prior to Fleetwood joining Whitley County, three different individuals were in the business manager role in the course of three years. “Due to staff turnover and lack of consistency in key roles, the business office was left in a state of disarray,” says Fleetwood. How has Fleetwood sought to turn the tide? “Over the past year, we have focused on building trust, teamwork, customer service, and open communication,” says Fleetwood. He has also committed to making changes and updates. “Change is not easy, but needed if you want to grow. My staff has been great in accepting change and this has really enhanced the outcome of all the positive changes we have made over the last year.”
Fleetwood’s advice to early career SBOs is to do the thing he did that made a huge difference in his career: get a mentor. “You will need someone to confirm your thinking and gain confidence in your work. Surround yourself with experienced business officials. Don’t expect to learn it all at once, be patient, and you will find your groove,” says Fleetwood.
“I’m really thankful and blessed to have the job I have,” says Fleetwood. “It’s really rewarding to have purpose in your job, and knowing that all the little things you do every day is making an impact on our students and future of our community.”
Todd, his wife Shanna, their son Jackson, and daughter Aaliyah reside in Churubusco, Indiana and attend Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana.