Pontrelli to oversee budget and Bridge to Excellence

Abby Kunze, Copy Editor

Superintendent inforgraph

Infographic by Adam Sutcliffe

Denise Pontrelli was elected as the new superintendent in March, however it will be no easy ride for her. She has many tasks ahead due to the fact that the district has confirmed new plans for renovation and innovation.

Pontrelli will begin work as the new superintendent on July 1, 2015. In short, a superintendent is in charge of decision-making, hiring people, establishing the district budget, working with the school board and creating the academic schedule. 

With the promise of new facilities in the district, Pontrelli is in charge (alongside the school board) of overseeing the budget and putting all the money to a good purpose. The district plans to “Develop a balanced budget and practices to match our revenues with expenditures; continue implementing tighter budget controls and oversight while redirecting resources in the classrooms; continue creating long range plans to meet the needs of our students,” as stated on the finance page of Stillwater Area Public Schools website.

It is up to Pontrelli to work with the board to create a budget plan that will prevent the district from falling further into debt. Any business can and will fail if the spending outweighs the revenue, and our district is no different.

It is up to Pontrelli to work with the board to create a budget plan that will prevent the district from falling further into debt. Any business can and will fail if the spending outweighs the revenue, and our district is no different.”

— Abby Kunze

Pontrelli and the board must implement tighter budget controls to ensure that all taxpayer dollars are benefitting the schools and are not being wasted. Taxpayer dollars are precious in this day and age.

Another point made on the financial page involves the Bridge to Excellence plan. The Bridge to Excellence is a set of objectives that the district employees are recommended to follow and improve upon in coming years. They are simply suggestions and if a teacher decides to skip over an objective, they may. The plan also aims to improve upon personalization, passion, community and safety in the schools.

The Bridge to Excellence program has already been in effect for a few years, but it is far from complete. Classes are still extremely general and do not cater to the needs of individual students. It will be difficult, but implementing structure and requirements for personalization in the classroom will go a long way in the learning environment. It is imperative that Pontrelli oversees and makes sure that the classrooms become more personalized, passionate and safe. A sense of community pervading the schools is also crucial.

Pontrelli will also be asked to oversee the Bond 2015. The community will be voting on a bond that will not raise taxes, but it will support the improvements to facilities all around the district, including the renovations to the high school. This also includes the shifting of ninth and sixth grades to the high school and junior high schools, respectively.

As the superintendent, it is up to Pontrelli to oversee these changes and make sure all the money is going to where it is supposed to and is being put to the best use it can be. The budget is arguably one of the most important tasks she and the school board will be faced with. When renovating one school and building another elementary school, money will be hard to keep track of. Keeping a steady budget and only using what is available is crucial because it is the taxpayers paying for the improvements.