Elect President

From the Podium

David Bein, PhD., SFO

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services/CSBO
Barrington CUSD 220

Engineering Operational Hits

As much as I’d like to use Sade’s Smooth Operator in reference to this issue of UPDATE, there are a couple ABBA songs that by title seem to better relate to this issue’s topics: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! and Money, Money, Money. Let me explain.

Several of the excellent articles in this issue relate to operational efficiencies. This happens to be a topic near and dear to my heart. Some of you may know that I earned two college degrees in Industrial Engineering (IE) and started my career working as a manufacturing engineer. My definition of IE may be summed up as creating efficient systems of people and things. From time studies and facility layouts to fractional factorial designs to my master’s thesis, Approximate Procedures For Scheduling Parallel Unrelated Machines To Minimize Makespan, it is about finding optimal, efficient solutions. Articles in this issue leverage IE concepts in the field of education to support our efforts to make money go as far as possible. In a time when every department seems to be saying Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, articles about improving efficiency through sustainability, using AI and operational transitions can help you maximize the use of every penny you have available.

While we’re working in a time when the EBF may seem like the man referred to in Money, Money, Money, the reality is that we still may not have enough money while the demand for resources never seems to stop. In the business office we continue to hear about, as ABBA sings, “all the things [we] could do if [we] had a little money.” And it’s not to say that they aren’t good, noble, wonderful things, but the reality is we only have so much, and a dollar spent in one area is a dollar that we can’t spend in another. Then there are those areas in which it can be particularly hard not to increase spending when asked, such as special education, safety and security and equity. But if you don’t have to spend a full dollar in one area, you can have some of that dollar left to spend in another, and who wouldn’t want that?! Articles in this issue can give you perspective not only on what’s coming next in safety and security so you can plan for upcoming expenses but can also help you understand how to think about measuring equity and support your efforts to efficiently use the resources you have to improve it.

When you are feeling that it is hard to provide the financial and operational support those in your district and community are asking for, or when you need some new ideas to achieve your district’s objectives at an even higher level, use this issue of UPDATE as your SOS. For when you invest in yourself through reading, reflection and discussion, you will reenergize yourself and be able to ignite those around you to success.