Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District Business Services Consortium Recognized for Using Technology to Innovate Operations
The Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District (ISD) Business Services Consortium, which is based in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., has been recognized as Information Technology Innovators in SunGard K-12 Education’s Lead without Limits Awards program. From nominations from educators and school administrators from across the country, the organization and business leaders from 18 Michigan districts were selected as those who best leverage technology to innovate their operations.
The Lead without Limits Awards program recognizes school districts, schools, departments, administrators, and educators that leverage technology to help improve student achievement and/or school or district efficiency. Information Technology Innovators, one of the Lead without Limits Award categories, enhance the educational process with technology. Nominees’ information technology efforts support student achievement and/or improve school/district efficiency.
In his nomination, Steve Gordon, Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD’s director of finance and human resources, said a regional collaboration allowed 18 rural school districts in Michigan to apply best practices in the adoption of the eFinancePLUS financial and human resources system. “We have a number of small school districts in our region and, by working together, we were able to implement a world-class finance system and build in support for each other,” he says. “With the help of our SunGard K-12 Education implementation team, we standardized our various account structures into a single usable format. We also standardized many of our codes (deductions, etc.). This set the stage for us to share technology.”
Since going live on the software in January 2013, the consortium members have experienced operational efficiencies by using one system to manage their finances and human resources efforts from a common set of servers. For example, the organization recently achieved considerable savings by bidding its annual audit contracts as a region. These savings are an outcome of their work to create a common account structure and use a single finance system.
Dena Mayer, business manager of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD and team lead on the effort, says the team’s success can be attributed to their collaboration. “Our region has a long history of collaborating on efforts to support efficient operations,” she says. “During this process, there was a lot of really good discussion and compromise that, in the end, created a system that works for all of us.”
The implementation team was comprised of business staff from Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD and 18 Michigan districts. In addition to Mayer, the team included Cheryl Adams of Engadine Consolidated Schools, Becky Aldrich of Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe PSA, Danette Andrews of St. Ignace Area Schools, Bill Beaune of Brimley Area Schools, Donna Bergman of Tahquamenon Area Schools, Trish Brazil of Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools, Emily Brosco of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD, Lillian Clark of Moran Township School District, Terri Ferroni of Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools, Barbara Fisher of Mackinac Island Public Schools, Eric Galer of Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools, Melissa Gillhooley of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD, Dawn Gillett of Consolidated Community School Services, Donna Hall of Rudyard Area Schools, Kris Hill of Les Cheneaux Community Schools, Corey Jodoin of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD, Janet Linck of Tahquamenon Area Schools and Three Lakes Academy, Amanda Matheson of Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools, Yvonne McConkey of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD, Tracy McCord of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD, Cathy McLeod of St. Ignace; Shelley Promo of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD and Ojibwe Charter School, Tracy Reichlin of Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe PSA, Tracy Rye of Pickford Public Schools, Lisa Sandvik of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD, Jackie Stabile of Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD, Kyle Stabile of Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools, Kim Swailes of Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe PSA, and Janis Wilson of Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools.
Frank Lavelle, SunGard K-12 Education’s president and chief executive officer, celebrates the Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD Business Services Consortium and the other Lead without Limits Award recipients. “It’s an honor to serve this nation’s school districts as they inspire students and support them in realizing the greatest possibilities for their lives,” says Lavelle. “Through their dedication and innovation, the Lead without Limits Award recipients are having an inspiringly positive impact on our children.”
The Lead without Limits Awards recipients received a statuette. They are now in the running for the annual awards that will be presented at SunGard K-12 Education’s National User Group Conference in Palm Springs, Calif. SunGard K-12 Education will select the three annual award winners from all the monthly recipients during the year. For these three annual winners, SunGard K-12 will pay the conference fee for one individual to represent them at the conference and hear best practices shared by districts across the country.
Nominations for the Lead without Limits Awards are accepted through an application form available on SunGard K-12 Education’s website. For guidelines and selection process, please see the Lead without Limits Awards Program information online.
Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD
The Eastern Upper Peninsula ISD is the largest geographic intermediate school district in Michigan, covering 4,000 square miles and encompassing all of three counties and a part of a fourth. Within the area, there are 18 public schools, of which four are public school academies. Four registered private parochial schools also operate within the region. The ISD’s primary mission is to provide local districts the most comprehensive classroom teaching resources possible. Its efforts include providing aligned curriculum and assessment resources and local professional development around district needs in these areas. Online teacher resources are a point of pride as are the staff resources to assist local districts in a wide variety of needs. The EUP continues to be a leader in the use of technology to enhance education. Comprehensive ITV courses, web-based data warehousing, and wireless Internet connectivity are examples of the advanced technology resources in the region.
About SunGard K-12 Education
SunGard K-12 Education offers software solutions designed to help teachers, administrators, and parents support student achievement. PLUS 360 is a single integrated suite of software solutions for the management of student information, assessment and curriculum, special education, and financial and human resources. The suite—which provides district staff with anytime, anywhere access to important district information—can be deployed to work together or implemented as stand-alone systems to help meet educational goals and requirements. For more information, visit SunGard K-12 Education at sungardk12.com.
SunGard is one of the world’s leading financial software companies, with annual revenue of $2.8 billion. We provide solutions for financial services, the public sector, and education. Our software is delivered via Software as a Service (“SaaS”), in the cloud and on premises, surrounded by an extensive suite of service offerings. Through the depth and breadth of our solution portfolio, global capabilities, and domain expertise, we are uniquely capable of supporting virtually every type of financial organization, including the largest and most complex institutions in the world. SunGard’s approximately 13,000 employees proudly serve approximately 14,000 customers in more than 100 countries, bringing fresh ideas and inventive solutions to help our customers adapt and thrive. For more information, please visit www.sungard.com.
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© SunGard K-12 Education 2015. All rights reserved.
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SunGard K-12 Education Media Contact:
Lori F. Hixon
Public Relations Specialist
Release Number: 2015-0030