For the past several weeks a transaction in leadership within the Business Office has been underway with departing Business Manager Mike Sokoloski set to turn all fiscal responsibilities over to new stewards, Charles Mannello and Denise Kreisher, at the close of the workday on Friday, October 17th. Mr. Mannello will serve the District as Business Consultant while Mrs. Kreisher will assume duties as Business Office Supervisor. The two will perform many of the duties traditionally assigned to the Business Manager, with non-fiscal tasks such as serving as the Right-to-Know Officer, becoming the Superintendent's responsibility. The Business Consultant will provide oversight to all business operations and will be responsible for the long-range financial planning of the District. He, in conjunction with the Superintendent, will plan and develop the District's annual school budget. The Consultant is a paid contractor, not an employee, and will provide management advisory services to the District for a maximum of 50 days per year. The Business Office Supervisor is an employee and will manage the the daily business affairs of the school district. She will supervise all Business Office employees, serve as the daily point-of-contact for all business matters, and will represent the District at monthly Board meetings.

Mr. Mannello and Mrs. Kreisher have extensive school finance experience and have much expertise to offer the District. The following are biographical capsules of each:

Charles J. Mannello is a 1972 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School.  In 1976, he earned a B.S. in Accounting from Susquehanna University. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1987. He began his career in business administration in 1976, working for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as an auditor. He was promoted to Taxation Audit Manager before being hired in 1990, as a regional supervisor by the Pennsylvania  Department of the Auditor General. His work for the Auditor General entailed traveling to public schools throughout the state and conducting an annual audit of their fiscal operations. During this tenure, Mr. Mannello  also supervised other school auditors working for the State. In 2004, he was hired as as Business Manager of the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit 29. While at IU 29, he also served as the Business Manager of the Schuylkill Technology Center and as the Trust Manager for the Schuylkill County Employees Insurance Trust. He worked at IU 29 until his retirement in June 2011. Since 1990, Mr. Mannello has owned and operated a tax and accounting practice. In July 2012, he began to offer management advisory services to school districts and now serves Southern Columbia Area, Mt Carmel Area, and the Northumberland County Career and Technology Center as a business consultant.

Denise Kreisher is a 1980 graduate of Southern Columbia Area High School. She has been an employee of the District since 1995, and through the years has served in a variety of business-related roles allowing her to gain first-hand, practical experience and knowledge of school finance.  Her first job at SCA was as Elementary Secretary. She served in this role from 1995 until 2001, gaining knowledge and proficiency in child accounting and school purchasing. From 2001 until 2009, Mrs. Kreisher was hired as the Business Office Administrative Assistant working in accounts payable and receivable. She was responsible for managing general fund accounts, student activities, capital reserve accounts, workers compensation, and employee medical, dental, vision and life insurance benefits. She was also charged with conducting cost analysis and project tracking for the District's administrators and the Board of Education, and was responsible for the preparation and filing of various, monthly and annual financial reports. In 2009, Mrs. Kreisher became the District's Confidential Secretary for Payroll and Human Resources and remained in this role until her promotion to Business Office Supervisor. Her primary duties included preparing the biweekly payroll, managing employees' fringe benefits, including PSERS, and filing quarterly and yearly taxes. "Mrs. Kreisher is a dependable, hard-working, dedicated employee who has shown that she can meet deadlines and perform well under situations that are sometimes stressful and require immediate action," stated departing Business Manager Mike Sokoloski.

In closing we thank Mr. Sokoloski for his dedicated and untiring service to Southern Columbia Area, as well as for his assistance in providing for a smooth transition. Mr. Sokoloski is moving on to the Blue Mountain Area School District where he will serve as Business Manager. We wish him, as well as our new fiscal leaders, much success in their new roles!

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