How We Practice to Deceive

If you were searching for a new Business Administrator, as we at SAU 55 are now, what do you suppose would be the desired qualifications for someone running a $100 million operation?

Here is a current job posting for a school district in New Jersey:

  • New Jersey School Business Administrator certification or eligibility
  • MBA/MS in Finance or CPA certification
  • Five years of experience in accounting, finance, or related fields
  • Experience in managing accounting systems in an educational setting preferred
  • Advanced technological proficiency in financial management software and Microsoft Excel
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong commitment to the mission and vision of Roseville Community Charter School.

Here’s what another school district in the state of New Jersey requires of its Assistant Business Administrator in terms of qualifications.  (Actual job posting.)

1. Hold or is currently eligible for the certificate for School Business Administrator
2. B.Sc. Accounting
3. An MBA/MS Degree in Finance or CPA Certification
4. Five (5) years experience in accounting, finance or related fields.

Here are the qualifications SAU 55 is advertising to replace our current Business Administrator, George Stokinger. Keep in mind that according to the Department of Education website, Mr. Stokinger is the highest paid Business Administrator in the state in the 16-17 year, earning $120,000.

This is SAU55’s actual job posting qualifications:

School Administrative Unit 55

 B.A. in Business Administration and/or Certification by New Hampshire Department of Education preferred.
 Ten years’ experience in financial management accounting preferred.
 Five years in governmental accounting preferred.
 Such alternatives to the above qualifications as the Superintendent of Schools may find appropriate and acceptable.

When SAU55 was seeking a new Assistant Business Administrator when Kathy Smith left, here is the actual job posting qualifications:

Full time position, with SAU 55 Administrator benefits. Salary range $70K – $90K.
Reports to: Business Administrator
1. Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration or Accounting
2. Minimum of five years’ experience in accounting or finance with at least one year of
supervisory experience
3. Certified or certifiable as a NH School Business Administrator
4. Such alternatives to the above as the Superintendent finds appropriate and acceptable.

I’d say the qualifications sought for the Assistant Business Administrator would make him/her more qualified than his potential boss.  Would you agree?

Is it nothing but a sham?

SAU55 held a special meeting on Jan. 11, 2017 to accept the retirement notice of Business Administrator, George Stokinger. His retirement is effective as of June 30, 2017.

As required by policy for the replacement of professional SAU staff, Chairman Cipriano announced the formation of a search committee. He had already ordained Karen Yasenka (Hampstead) and Sue Sherman (Timberlane) to constitute the committee in its entirety.

There may be very little work involved in this “search committee,” though Mses. Sherman and Yasenka may not know this quite yet. I believe there is already a candidate in mind.

Three clues support my supposition that this search is likely a sham.

  1. Superintendent Metzler was confident he could have a candidate before the SAU board by March 8. (This is conveniently a few days before the election of what we hope will be some hard-minded new board members. Mrs. Metzler, you might recall, was hired March 6, 2014.)
  2. When I motioned that the SAU board should be presented with three candidates for the Business Administrator position and not a single fait accompli, the board voted this down in fast order – despite the fact that the highest salary in the state would certainly be attractive to a great many experienced people in other districts.
  3. The qualifications currently advertised for a replacement Business Administrator are so weak and vague as to seem to be written for some favored person with underwhelming qualifications.  Either that, or we don’t know what Business Administrator qualifications should be for a $100 million operation in 2017 and beyond.

I look forward to being proved wrong.

Watch the whole 13 minute meeting:  SAU 55 Jan. 11 meeting

You can see the salaries of Business Administrators on the DOE site here.




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