Holly Holman, ALASBO President

I hope everyone’s school year is off to a great start! ALASBO members have been busy completing the school district’s annual audits and getting ready for the 2017-2018 school year. ALASBO has hosted several events since the beginning of our fiscal year, and we are looking forward to our December conference.

This year’s ALASBO Summer Leadership Conference was held at the end of July, in beautiful Sitka. A huge thank you to our sponsors: American Fidelity, Frontline Technologies, GovDeals, Inc., NANA Management Services, and SchoolDude. Our focus for the leadership conference was to review our Strategic Plan and plan our annual conference, to be held in December. Our Strategic Plan was developed during Summer Leadership two years ago in Wasilla, but a lot has changed in our state in two years! We reviewed our three themes—Professional Development, School Business Best Practices (ALASBO will be the best practices resource), and Sustainability—and prioritized the details in each theme.

The ASBO International Conference was held in Denver this year, from September 22nd to 25th.  This annual conference draws business officials from around the globe for professional learning opportunities. From sessions titled “Strategic Communications: How to Better Protect Yourself from Today’s Media” to “Real World Fraud and Internal Controls,” the program was packed with information relevant to business officials in every setting. I am always amazed at the similarities we share with other schools in different parts of the world and the common issues we face.

ALASBO’s Annual Conference will be held in Anchorage on December 3rd through 6th at the Captain Cook Hotel. Our registration is already open, and the agenda is packed with informative sessions! Check out our website at for more information. In response to member and vendor feedback, we’ve made some changes to our schedule this year that we hope will make our conference even better for all participants. Our annual conference is a “must attend” for school business officials and will provide information that will be put to use immediately after the conference! The presenters are experts in their fields, and there is something for everyone in the school business office.

For new school business officials and superintendents, we offer the School Business Academy, a full-day workshop, on Sunday, December 3rd. Learn from the experts about the State Foundation Funding Program, Chart of Accounts, budgeting, and many more topics in this in‑depth session.

I am excited to announce that the keynote speaker at ALASBO’s Annual Conference in December will be the legendary dog musher DeeDee Jonrowe! I have been a fan of DeeDee’s for years, not only because of her dog mushing prowess, but because of her other athletic accomplishments, and, mostly, because of her positive attitude in the face of adversity. She is a breast cancer survivor and has lived through many other challenges, such as losing her home to fire two summers ago. She has pulled through it all and continues to run the Iditarod, being one of the top contenders for most Iditarod races run. She has placed in the top 10 many times in her mushing career. DeeDee Jonrowe demonstrates our ALASBO 2017 theme of Pulling Together for Alaska’s Youth in many areas of her life.