Business Manager for Rockford Area Schools
Retirement: February, 2017
Below is a recent article featured in the MASBO (Minnesota Association of School Business Officials) state organization in December.
My name is Sandy Strozyk and I will be retiring at the end of February 2017. As I look back on my career as a school business manager, I’d like to share just a few highlights. First of all, I have always worked in small school districts. My membership in MASBO has been invaluable. The knowledge and relationships have helped me throughout my career. For anyone that is just beginning in this career or even a veteran, there is nothing more valuable than the resources available to the members of MASBO from conferences to educational opportunities and of course the personal connections and networking.
I graduated from Harmony High School in 1977 and then attended Mankato Commercial College. We returned with our family to Harmony and I accepted the job replacing a 30 plus year veteran in my home school where I was now working side by side with my teachers, who I still called by Mr. and Mrs. I was the mother of three young boys under the age of 3. My first task was to prepare for the annual audit, overwhelming to say the least. Most financial transactions were still done on paper, with the computerized system just beginning. I wasn’t aware of MASBO right away, but joined in 1988.
From Harmony, I moved my family to Byron in 1992 and began working in my second school district, again in July, thus facing another audit (besides finishing the one for Harmony). Now my children numbered 4, with an addition of a daughter. My kids were proud to be Byron Bears and we enjoyed twelve wonderful years there.
From Byron, I moved to the Twin Cities, and began working for Rockford Area Schools. I took a short detour to Faribault Schools, returning back to Rockford for the last 12 years.
A small district business manager has to know all aspects of school district finance, right down to running a payroll or printing a finance check as well as negotiating contracts or preparing the pay equity report. There aren’t many 17 digit UFARS codes I don’t known by heart, but I am slowing down some with all the constantly changing rules and mandates. I wouldn’t trade my years in this profession for anything else and I cherish the friends in MASBO that I’ve made along the way. I especially enjoyed my short stint as the MASBO choir director. Thanks for those of you that participated in the MASBO choir with me, it certainly was a highlight.
A couple of my least favorite comments that many of you may encounter-“You work all summer? What do you do?” and “The district office said we had to do this”. We all work tireless hours, serving our districts the best we can. We hate to always be the bad guy that has to enforce all the rules, statutes, laws, etc. I always wanted to be the loved elementary secretary, who everyone just worships. But no, we are the rule enforcers, easily blamed for almost everything! Regardless, I have loved all my jobs and districts and in each, proudly wore the school colors and always went above and beyond when I could.
So with 34 years, 36 audits, 10 Superintendents, 32 years with Region V and a board member there for 10 years, 29 years in MASBO, I say farewell and I’ll miss you, but I hope to attend the annual conference in May 2017.
My husband Jimmy and I will be moving back to Harmony and I have accepted a job as the church secretary at Greenfield Lutheran Church. I welcome you to travel to God’s Country and stop in for a cup of coffee, or better yet, next October make the trip to southeast Minnesota, enjoy the fall foliage and attend an authentic Norwegian dinner at Greenfield Lutheran.