It’s time to introduce you to our newest Featured Member!
Today’s article spotlights Kristy Curry, assistant superintendent of administrative services at El Centro Elementary School District in El Centro. Below, Kristy shares some of her thoughts and feelings on her work and our industry. Enjoy!
Why did you decide to get into a school business profession?
I remember the day like yesterday. I was finishing my degree while working in payroll for a non-school government employer. The job had become very routine, and I started to wonder what was next for me. Would I stay there and work on moving up the ladder, or was there something more fulfilling out there? I opened the paper and saw an advertisement for an administrative assistant for the high school district I had attended. Something about the thought of being part of the education process that I went through excited me. I guess you can say the rest is history.
That was almost 15 years ago, and since then, I have worked in three school districts and my county office of education. I feel very blessed because I get the best of both worlds: I have a job that is challenging and fulfilling, and I get to be part of the education process. I’ve always been extremely passionate about learning, and having my kids attend the school district I work for is the icing on the cake!
How has being a part of a professional development association like CASBO helped you advance your career?
In the beginning of my career, CASBO was the only organization that provided the training that I needed. I remember attending my first CASBO Annual Conference and being overwhelmed with all the different classes. It was very instrumental in my professional development and growth. As I went further in my career, it became more about networking and meeting people that are more knowledgeable in different areas of school business than I am.
How long have you been involved with CASBO?
I've been attending CASBO workshops and conferences for almost 15 years! I've been a member since 2008 and have been actively involved in the San Diego/Imperial Section, having served on its Board of Directors as secretary, president-elect, president and past president.
Please list your school business accomplishments.
My accomplishments can be attributed to the fact that I have a great team of individuals working with me and a very supportive superintendent. I oversee four different areas at our district: business; child nutrition; maintenance, operations and transportation (MOT); and safety. Each area has its own unique challenges and successes.
In business, I am proud of the efficiencies we’ve improved over the past few years. We went through a financial system software conversion and that was a monumental task. Through this, we’ve streamlined many of our business practices and have gone paperless in many areas. We’ve had many years with zero audit findings, which was unprecedented in our district. One personal accomplishment which resulted is that I was named 2018 Imperial/San Diego Business Services Administrator of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators.
In child nutrition, I’m beyond proud to be part of the team that’s been serving meals throughout the pandemic to our community and students. And in our MOT department, especially custodial and skilled trades, we’ve been working to make facility modifications to increase safety during COVID-19. We also recently added a safety department and have been working to improve all areas of safety for our staff and students.
What advice would you give to a new school business professional?
The best advice I can give is to network and ask questions. I’ve met so many great people in school business who are willing to share their knowledge with me. Never stop learning! We’re in the business of education and that should be a core belief.
Kristy is a proud wife and mother to two wonderful boys, Carsen and Ethan. She was born and raised in Imperial County and loves the community there. She's extremely grateful for her job because she enjoys accounting, is passionate about education, and feels lucky to have found an industry where she can apply her skills and combine them with that passion. She states she has great respect for teachers because they truly have the most difficult job, and she's glad she gets to do her part to support the education industry.