by S. Purdom
Photo one: Sarah Kaegi,(center) MISD Finance Officer, is pictured with Bob Rogers, MISD superintendent, and MISD Board members, (from left) Donnie Winchester, Rogers, Laura Pitman, Mark Vinson, and Dr. Richard Crouch, chair, after being named the 2015 Goldenrod Outstanding Kentucky School Business Official.
Photo two: Sarah Kaegi, MISD Finance Officer, the 2015 Goldenrod Outstanding Kentucky School Business Official, (center) pictured with Ledonia Willliamson, (direct left) a (Kentucky Association of School Administrators) KASA Board of Director’s member and the Western Lakes Regional Representative, Kaegi’s mother (direct right), Myrna , MISD coworkers, and close friends during the surprise announcement at the November Board meeting. (KASBO is an affiliate of KASA)
Murray Independent School District Finance Officer
Named 2015 Goldenrod Outstanding Kentucky School Business Official
Murray, Ky., Nov. 11-------During the Murray Independent School District November Board meeting, Sarah Kaegi, MISD Finance Officer, was surprised when she was named the 2015 Goldenrod Outstanding Kentucky School Business Official, an award implemented in 2009 by The Kentucky Association of School Business Officials (KASBO) to honor outstanding school business officials. The Goldenrod Outstanding School Business Official Award honors one person annually who best represents exemplary practices and standards of school business in a Kentucky public school district.
A 23-year MISD employee who has served 17 of those as the MISD Finance Officer, Kaegi was nominated by Bob Rogers, MISD superintendent and MISD co-workers.
Rogers said in his 24-year superintendent tenure, (the past 10 at Murray), he has found Kaegi to be a most efficient finance officer, who maintains years of perfect attendance during her MISD employment. “She strives daily to do things the ‘right’ way,” he said. “Auditors are always impressed with her ability to provide them with the materials and answers they want in immediate fashion.”
An active member of the Kentucky Association School Business Official who encourages membership and district level attendance, Kaegi is familiar with the constant changes mandated by the state and federal government. Continuously working to improve the district’s best practices, Kaegi constantly focuses on reducing costs that do not directly impact students and students. “Students are the very heart of every decision she makes for the district,” Rogers explained.
Rogers and Kaegi frequently assist new superintendents and finance officers in surrounding districts with budgets and operation. She often helps her peers with questions they may have regarding school finance issues as well as assisting other districts with Head Start programs.
Auditor, Sandra Duguid, said during their 2003-2013 independent auditor relationship with the MISD, Kaegi has served as the finance officer during all this time and describes her as a “great benefit to us auditors.” “She is one of the most knowledgeable and professional finance officers with whom we have had the opportunity to work,” she said. “She is diligent in her duties and has always had the best interest of the Murray Independent School District as her priority. With any new accounting standards affecting the District, she has always educated herself and been informed.”
Carol Elder, MISD preschool director/assistant director of special education, agreed. “She is tireless in her efforts to uphold integrity in all aspects. Her fair, honest, stable and knowledgeable approach to safeguarding school district funds is outstanding,” she said. “She is diligent in assisting others in the district to understand the process in which each individual must operate in order to ensure effective and appropriate use of local, state and federal funds.”
“Sarah has continuously demonstrated a strong commitment to her job, as well as to the students and staff of our school district,” said Debbie Walker, MISD payroll manager who has worked with Kaegi in the finance department for the last six years.
Walker said in addition to Kaegi’s MISD role, she is a very active member of the Lions Club. As past Lions Club president, Kaegi now serves on the board and numerous committees, donating many hours to this worthwhile group while continuing to serve the community. “She leads by example and is truly deserving of the award,” Walker said.
“We are fortunate to have someone with the compassion, expertise, and loyalty Sarah devotes to our district and community,” Rogers said.
Kaegi will be recognized next week during the KASBO Fall Conference in Lexington and at the Southeastern Association of School Business Officials (SASBO award winners’ breakfast in April at the Hilton Hotel in Myrtle Beach, S.C. In honor of this award, Kaegi is the recipient of an all-expense paid trip to the SADBO annual conference, a $1,000 scholarship funded by KASBO will be awarded to a deserving student in the MISD, and a $1,000 scholarship funded by American Fidelity will also be given to a student in Kaegi’s district.