New School Business Manager of the Year Recipients

  • 2023 – David Ziegelbauer, New Holstein
  • 2022 –  Caitlin Windler, West Allis-West Milwaukee
  • 2021 –  Leah Hauser, Sparta
  • 2020 – Andrew Thorson, Neenah
  • 2019 – Demetri Andrews, North Crawford
  • 2018 – Edward Then, Crandon
  • 2017 – Ben Irwin, Parkview
  • 2016 – Erin Wheeler, Wisconsin Heights
  • 2014 – Nathan Jaeger, Whitewater
  • 2013 – Joseph Marquardt, New London
  • 2012 – Mike Koltes, De Forest
  • 2011 – Mindy Lankey, Hillsboro
  • 2010 – John Stellmacher, Barron
  • 2009 – Kathy Maedke, Cambridge
  • 2008 – Gail Haack, Algoma
  • 2007 – Peter Ross, Seymour
  • 2006 – Rebecca Doerr, New Holstein
  • 2005 – Janice DeMeuse, Luxemberg-Casco
  • 2004 – Chad Trowbridge, Chippewa Falls
  • 2003 – Keith Lucius, Ashwaubenon
  • 2002 – Jeff Mahoney, River Valley
  • 2001 – Patrick Saucerman, Marshfield

George Gray WASBO New School Business Manager of the Year

Sponsored by Brown & Brown Insurance

 George Gray

Nominate a candidate by January 8, 2024 using this form! 


This award acknowledges the value and need to recognize new outstanding school business managers in Wisconsin and their contributions to public education. The purpose of the George Gray WASBO New School Business Manager of the Year award is to recognize the contributions of new business managers to their local school district and community, as well as to the business manager profession, regardless of the size of their district.

This award was renamed in honor of George Gray who was responsible for creating the School of Business Management Master of Science degree program at UW-Whitewater that trained several Wisconsin’s school business managers through the “Fairly Normal School District” budget mock Annual Meeting. George was very proud of his association with WASBO members and admired their success whether you were one of his students or not. George’s favorite philosophy was that as the Business Manager, you were really the one in control of what was happening at your district. George is known for saying: “Business Managers are driving (the district) from the back seat.” It is with great pleasure, that starting in 2019, the New Business Manager of the Year Award is changed to the George Gray WASBO New Business Manager of the Year Award to recognize those members who are keeping the ‘car’ on the right side of the road!

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible the nominee must:
  • Currently work as a school business manager in Wisconsin with less than five years’ experience
    • For purposes of this award, a school business manager is defined as an individual who is associated with a public or private school district, vocational/technical school, college or university and fulfills a position such as business manager or business assistant, accounting or finance officer, or head bookkeeper.
  • Hold a Wisconsin 08 license
  • Be an active district professional WASBO member at the time of the nomination
  • Not have received the George Gray WASBO New School Business Manager of the Year award in the past
Current members of the Board of Directors are ineligible to receive this award.

Nominations may be made by any WASBO member (with the exception of current Board members), a district administrator, a professional colleague or a WASBO Regional.

Nomination packets may, but are not required to, include letters of recommendation from the following:
  • The nominee’s district administrator;
  • The nominee’s colleagues in your area, or from throughout the state;
  • School board members;
  • Local officials;
  • Community organizations the nominee actively participated in.

Please limit submitted letters to no more than six (6).

Selection Criteria

The following criteria shall be considered when selecting the George Gray WASBO New School Business Manager of the Year:

Leadership in the Schools – The candidate has demonstrated efforts to significantly improve district operations, save district resources, and/or enhance student learning.

Continuing Professional Development – Evidence of continuing efforts to learn and grow as a professional has been demonstrated.

Active Participation in the Profession – Membership in professional associations, service on committees, and related activities.

Active Participation in the Community – Evidence of meaningful involvement in the community.


The George Gray WASBO New School Business Manager of the Year Award recipient will be recognized at the annual WASB-WASBO-WASDA State Education Convention. The recipient will receive a plaque and a check in the amount of $1,000 to be used for the Business Manager’s continuing education, attendance at conferences or seminars, membership dues, or related activities or resources that contribute to his/her professional development.

The name of the recipient of the George Gray WASBO New School Business Manager of the Year Award shall be added to the plaque in the WASBO office and a letter of commendation shall be sent to the recipient’s school board by the Executive Director on behalf of the Board of Directors. Press releases will be sent to the local media.

Selection Process

The Membership Committee and the Professional Improvement Committee will review the nominations and select two finalists to be forwarded to the Board of Directors by January 31.

The WASBO Board of Directors considers nominations at its following Board meeting and selects the award recipient from the two finalists. The Board’s decision is final.