On March 29, 2022, in Sacramento, Molly Schlange was named the 2022 recipient of the Schuyler C. Joyner Award. The award was presented during the President’s Leadership Recognition Dinner at CASBO’s 2022 Annual Conference & California School Business Expo by Harold Freiman, longtime member of CASBO and our Associate Member Committee, and a partner with Lozano Smith, a CASBO Premier Partner.

Since 1987, CASBO’s Associate Members have presented this annual award to a CASBO member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, service and commitment to school business and to our association. In addition to this individual recognition, a scholarship of $5,000 is awarded to the high school or community college of the recipient’s choice. This year, the Sky Joyner Award was presented to a CASBO Honorary Life Member who epitomizes the characteristics of dedication, passion and professionalism in school business!

Molly Schlange is a CASBO past president who has played key roles in both her professional life and here at CASBO. Currently serving as school business manager for University Preparatory School in Redding, Molly has devoted almost 23 years of both her personal and professional lives to serving California’s public schools, students and communities.

And those years have been almost the entirety of Molly’s adult life! As she said that evening in her acceptance remarks, she “never would have guessed that what started out as ‘just a job’ in school business at the age of 21 would turn into a career.” It was at that young age that she accepted an account clerk position with the Shasta Union High School District in Redding. Though born in Sacramento, she moved to this Shasta County locale with her parents as an infant and considers herself a Redding native through and through.

Following her account clerk position, Molly moved from the district office to a school site where she served as finance clerk for the associated student body. In 2005, she joined the staff at University Preparatory School, a charter school in Redding with more than 900 students spanning grades 6 through 12. She first served as executive assistant to the superintendent/principal and then, in 2012, was promoted to school business manager. She also serves as board liaison to the University Preparatory School Educational Foundation.

Because her school operates like a small, single-site district, Molly believes it gives her the opportunity to wear many hats. From fiscal responsibilities, to master schedule planning, to answering phones, to taking attendance or cleaning cafeteria tables, she’s done it all, and she relies on that experience each day. “Working within such a broad scope allows me to analyze the organization as a whole and evaluate how we move forward,” she says.

For Molly, planning that forward progress includes listening to the stories of her district’s students and educators, which she then shares with elected leaders in Sacramento through her involvement in legislative advocacy. It all pays off when she sees the students walk across the graduation stage. “Knowing I played a part in their success — even if behind the scenes — is the best reminder of why I do what I do. It’s more than a job: it’s an investment in the future.”

Molly is diligent about investing in her own future as well, having served in many leadership roles in school business. A member of the California Association of School Business Officials since 2000 and a certified graduate of our CBO training program, she has served as our president and in various roles on several of our operational committees. She also was instrumental in the creation of the Shasta Cascade Section and served as its first section board president.

With 2021-22 CASBO President Richard De Nava

Molly is also a member of the Association of California School Administrators and a 2015 graduate of the Fiscal Crisis & Management Assistance Team CBO Mentor Training Program. Throughout these years of service, she’s built a statewide professional network that gives her the ability to call on any individual working in school business with knowledge or expertise different from her own, which she believes is vital to her success as a school business leader.

Molly and her husband Josh live in Redding, and they have two sons, Trey and Spencer. When she isn’t at work managing daily office operations, coordinating events and handling school finances, she can usually be found spending time with her family.

As part of Sky Joyner Award winner honors, recipients receive a $5,000 scholarship which they are allowed to award to the high school or community college of their choice. Molly has chosen to confer her scholarship award on University Preparatory School to support their Peer Mentor Program.

Congratulations to Molly on your well-deserved honor, and thank you for all you do for CASBO and our profession!