School Business Manager of the Year Recipients

  • 2023 – Jerrud Rossing, Middleton-Cross Plains & Kris De Bruine, Oostburg
  • 2022 – John Gahan, Pewaukee & Cheryl Richards, Ithaca
  • 2021 – Lynn Knight, Nekoosa
  • 2020 – Jonathan Mitchell, St Francis
  • 2019 – Marta Kwiatkowski, Rhinelander
  • 2018 – Chad Trowbridge, Chippewa Falls
  • 2017 – Jill Bodwin, Denmark
  • 2016 – Erik Kass, Elmbrook
  • 2015 – Betty Zimdars, Howard-Suamico
  • 2014 – Gail Moesch, Shawano
  • 2013 – Keith Lucius, Ashwaubenon
  • 2012 – Lawrence Dalton, Onalaska
  • 2011 – Debra Pelegrin, Little Chute
  • 2010 – Mary Jo Filbrandt, Antigo
  • 2009 – Ardell Wiederhoeft, Fort Atkinson
  • 2008 – Sue Schnorr, Fond du Lac
  • 2007 – Robert Buchholtz, Waukesha
  • 2006 – Shawn Yde, Whitefish Bay
  • 2005 – Erin Gauthier-Green, Greendale
  • 2004 – A. George Haynes, Muskego-Norway
  • 2003 – Douglas H. Bunton, Janesville
  • 2002 – John R. Keller, Howard-Suamico
  • 2001 – Thomas E. Wohlleber, Middleton-Cross Plains
  • 2000 – Roger Dickson, Kettle Moraine
  • 1999 – Nicholas Alioto, Eau Claire Area
  • 1998 – Alex Dittrich, Hamilton
  • 1997 – James Milzer, Franklin
  • 1996 – Tom Owens, DC Everest

School Business Manager of the Year

Sponsored by M3 Insurance

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

Background/Purpose of the Award

This award acknowledges the value and need to recognize outstanding school business managers in Wisconsin and their contributions to public education. The purpose of the School Business Manager of the Year award is to recognize the recent (within the last five years) outstanding contributions of the recipient to their local school district and community and to the business manager profession. The individual will be recognized for implementing innovative projects within their district, improving systems and processes to improve efficiencies, and/or forging creative partnerships with their community and improving student learning. (Nominations for career accomplishments should apply for the Wallace E. Zastrow Award.)

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible the nominee must:

  • Be an active, certified 08 school business manager, employed in the profession for a minimum of five years.
  • 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.
  • Be an active district professional WASBO member at the time of the nomination.
  • Not have received the New School Business Manager of the Year or School Business Manager of the Year award in the past five years.
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 and provided leadership to.
Please limit submitted letters to no more than six (6).

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria will be based on candidate contributions. The examples below are only a sampling of possible activities/projects and are not a comprehensive list.

Leadership in the Schools – The nominee has dedicated her/himself to improving the learning environment for students through:

  • Researching, writing, and securing grants to support initiatives or programs
  • Initiating programs to save money or improve efficiencies
  • Implementing specific projects/initiatives/programs designed to improve the school district for which the nominee works
  • Providing active leadership in successful referendum questions to support the nominee’s district
Leadership in the Profession – The nominee has demonstrated commitment to improving the level of professionalism among school business officials through:
  • Regular communication with legislators on public education issues
  • Presenting or volunteering at WASBO conferences
  • Teaching in a university program
  • Mentoring new professionals entering the field
  • Participating on a WASBO and/or ASBO committee, which may include the Board of Directors
  • Writing newsletter articles for WASBO, ASBO, or other professional publications
Leadership in the Community – The nominee has demonstrated active involvement in the local community in activities outside of the duties of their professional position, and/or has generated partnerships in the community that have promoted public education and the district’s educational programs. Active involvement goes beyond being a member of a benevolent organization, but requires being actively engaged in activities designed to improve the lives of others in the community.

The School Business Manager of the Year Award is for recent contributions to the field of public education. Letters of nomination should focus on activities, initiatives, and programs that have been developed and implemented within the last five years.


The WASBO School Business Manager of the Year Award recipient will be recognized at the WASBO Business Meeting held at the WASB-WASBO-WASDA State Education Convention. The recipient will receive a plaque and a check in the amount of $1,500 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 recipient may also award a $1,500 student scholarship in his/her district.

The name of the recipient of the 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 WASBO Board of Directors considers nominations at its Board meeting following the nomination deadline and selects the award recipient.

The Board of Directors will review all nominations submitted annually. Nothing in the award description prevents the Board of Directors from honoring two (2) co-equal School Business Manager(s) of the Year if the Board of Directors, upon reviewing all nominations, determine that two co-equal awards should be granted. If the Board determines to recognize two co-equal nominees, each recipient shall receive identical recognition. It is not necessarily the intent of the Board of Directors to recognize two recipients every year. Awards each year will be based on the nominations presented for consideration. The Board’s decision is final.