CASBO Career Chronicles: Michael Krause Edition
Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services
Anaheim Elementary School District
Ever sat in the cockpit with the pilot of an airplane? Michael Krause has. As a kid, this inspired him to become a pilot. Often times, obstacles and challenges present themselves and keep us from living our dreams. But there was a different dream ahead of Michael — a fulfilling career in school business.
In an interview with Michael, we see a perfect example of overcoming obstacles and taking advantage of resources to foster a lasting career:
Question: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Answer: I’m New York state born and raised. Growing up we traveled a ton, and back then, pilots would sometimes let you sit in the cockpit. Once I got my shot, I asked every time I was on a plane! This sparked my interest in becoming a pilot at a young age.
As I got older, I learned my eyesight wasn’t good enough. Growing up in New York, I was exposed to the thrill of Wall Street. We would visit the Twin Towers often and ride the escalators. When I realized I wouldn’t become a pilot, I decided I’d study business and work in finance.
Q: How did your career begin?
A: My career started off as planned. I graduated and became a stockbroker. But when 9/11 happened, I dropped everything and joined the Army.
Q: How did you end up in school business?
A: School business never crossed my mind. I started subbing as a teacher while in the Army and was later hired to teach business classes full time to grades 9-12. For years, even as a teacher, I didn’t realize there was such a thing as school business.
Eventually, a colleague and fellow CASBO member encouraged me to make the jump to the school business side. Now I’m assistant superintendent.
Q: Can you describe a time when a colleague helped you achieve a career goal?
A: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve simply picked up the phone and asked a fellow CASBO member for help. When I needed interview practice, a seasoned member took the time to role play with me and critique my responses. (I got the position.) And when I needed to practice a presentation for a large group, another CASBO member offered to do a conference video call to practice. Having a large network of CASBO members in school business is key to my job success.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job today?
A: Knowing that every decision I make affects students. As I make recommendations to utilize limited resources, I strive to always keep the students in mind for every action or inaction. It’s rewarding to see the fruits of my labor when I go visit school sites.
Q: What’s next in your career?
A: My ultimate goal is to achieve my doctorate but also become a mentor to as many people as I can who are involved in school business or are thinking of becoming a CBO. I believe that in this industry, mentorship has to replace marketing. It’s very daunting for a lot of people to make the jump. If there are more people like me willing to show them the ropes, we’ll find so many more professionals in this rewarding career.
Q: What’s the most valuable skill you gained through your CASBO membership?
A: Learning how to build that network of colleagues and reach out to them throughout the year has been a tremendous benefit of being a CASBO member. One of the great things about California is that there are 1,100 school districts. That means there are 1,100 CBO brains available to support you, mentor you and help advance the future for students. I meet them through the network of CASBO.
It’s been crucial to keep building that network. The districts come in all sizes, so everyone has unique challenges to share. The reason some CBOs aren’t successful is because they miss this crucial step.
Q: What advice would you give to a new CASBO member?
A: CASBO is the premiere association to be involved in for any person who works in a school district, not just in school business. So much knowledge can be gained from the staff at CASBO as well as all the members. Go after the CASBO CBO Certification. There’s a misconception that you have to be a CBO to do that. It’s not true!
I appreciate everything that CASBO staff has done. They are a great resource that people can use when they have questions. I believe the staff is an underutilized asset in the state. It’s wonderful to know they’re here to help.