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Shared services plan focus of OSBA Conference

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Representatives of the Harrison Hills City and Buckeye Local School Districts will present a panel discussion on their recently implemented Shared Services plan during the Ohio School Board Association’s Capital Conference this fall. Under the plan, both districts share a director of operations to oversee transportation, food services and other duties. From left are Director of Operations Ed Kovacik with Buckeye Local Superintendent Mark Miller and Harrison Hills Superintendent Dr. George Ash. (Photo provided)

 [ Harrison Hills School District Press Release ]

CADIZ- A special joint effort between Harrison Hills City and Buckeye Local School Districts will be the focus of a statewide educator’s conference this fall.

Harrison Hills School Superintendent Dr. George Ash, Buckeye Local School Superintendent Mark Miller and Director of Operations Ed Kovacik will participate in the 2011 Ohio School Board Association’s Capital Conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. About 10,000 people are expected to register for the conference on Nov. 13-16, and local officials will present their Shared Services initiative during a panel discussion on Nov. 15. Also taking part will be school board members Deborah Kenny and Melvin Allen of Harrison Hills and Naoma Kolkedy and Alice Owens of Buckeye Local.

We were asked by OSBA representatives to discuss the plan, which is a privilege for us,” said Dr. Ash. “We will discuss how it has worked for us and how it could help other districts. It has been very beneficial for both Harrison Hills and Buckeye Local Schools, and it is the first endeavor of its kind for the state.”

Dr. Ash continued that the goal was to reduce expenditures for both districts and to utilize Kovacik’s expertise to oversee operations in transportation and food services. So far, those efforts have proven successful and Harrison Hills managed to turn a previously estimated $18 million deficit into positive cashflow through 2015.

Buckeye Local, which is currently facing its own fiscal woes, had a post opening and the shared services plan allowed Kovacik to fill the void. Kovacik, an educator for the past 36 years who most recently served as Harrison Hills’ director of transportation and food service, began tackling both duties on Feb. 14. His job description entails supervising the management of school district operations, assisting with budget development and long-range financial planning in areas of direct responsibility, approving payroll, managing the district’s insurance programs, serving as transportation and food service supervisor, advising the superintendent on all questions related to transportation and food service and performing operations-related or any other duties assigned by the superintendent.

 He is familiar with all aspects of district operations since has served as a licensed bus driver and on-board instructor for drivers, plus as principal and district transportation and food service director for Harrison Hills. Kovacik oversees more than 30 employees in each district and manages 47 bus routes within nearly 500 square miles, plus he operates 17 cafeterias for an estimated 4,000 students.

 “I’ve seen flooding, snowfall and accidents, you name it,” Kovacik said of his tenure thus far. “It’s all been taken care of.”

 Miller said Kovacik’s involvement has made the venture successful because it boasts three key components: good people, communication and flexibility.

His job is unique because he’s running different systems,” Miller added. “At Buckeye Local, we have an opportunity to bring in his expertise and have him help train people who someday can take over his position. He was ranked No. 1 in the state [for the Harrison Hills transportation system per a recent state audit]. We’re showing the state that two school districts are taking the lead with shared services and it’s very successful.”

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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on July 3, 2011, 9:26 am. Filed under Community, Featured, Kids & Youth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry