Stillwater News Press

January 22, 2014

Stillwater School CFO: 'All things come with a cost'

By Mark Rountree
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — NAME: Phillip Storm

JOB TITLE: Chief Financial Officer for Stillwater Public Schools


What is the biggest challenge of your job?

I think it’s all intertwined. Finances are a big challenge for everything we face. Right now, we’re faced with implementing a new teacher evaluation system. We’re faced with the challenge of implementing Common Core State Standards. All those things come with cost. Any kind of training, any amount of time spent figuring these things out, all of that is money that could have been spent elsewhere. So everything we do in education is ultimately tied to money.

In your position, do you pay close attention to what’s happening in the state Legislature?

Every time the Legislature comes out with a new requirement or new law related to education, there’s always cost associated with that. ... So finances are the No. 1 challenge. There are all kinds of things that are good for education. We just always can’t afford them.

What about your job gives you the most enjoyment?

I like when I can actually be in a school building and see what’s going on and see the excited faces of the kids and the teachers and to know that some of the difficult decisions we make here, the net result is those kids and teachers in those buildings. That’s really what it’s all about, knowing that you are doing something meaningful.

You look at budget numbers all day. Each of those numbers impact 6,000 students and their families in the school district.

That’s pretty exciting. ... It’s really cool knowing that you are a small part of that.

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