Volume 3| January 2017
Department Spotlight -  External Business 
The External Business Department at Sutter County Superintendent of Schools has seven staff members currently assigned. External Business is responsible for providing financial services to school districts, assisting them in satisfying state financial accountability requirements under AB-1200 and subsequent legislation.  Staff also  p rovide school business guidance, information, and updates as well as p roviding fiscal services that support districts' efforts in maximizing revenues while also ensuring accuracy and consistency in meeting their legal fiscal requirements.

In addition to providing assistance with state mandated requirements External Business also provides analysis for fiscal planning, budget maintenance, provides on-site training to district fiscal staff, and provides technical assistance.  External Business hosts and facilitates a monthly Chief Fiscal Office Committee where relevant information is provided to districts along with networking opportunities for our local districts/charters, and outside county offices and districts.  

External Business works with Educational Services to provide LCAP support and assistance throughout the year.     

External Business Goals:
  1. Continue to build strong relationships with districts by providing them with timely and accurate financial reports and delivering successful solutions to our local and regional partners.  
  2. Proactively support districts and provide them with relevant information as it is released from the state and federal government in relation to school finance.  
  3. Develop budget processes that deliver timely, accurate, and quality financial reports for all reporting periods, and individualize them to meet district needs.  
  4. Work as a team to become the go-to school business source and training center for districts, charters, programs, and other counties.  

External Business Accomplishments:

  1. Worked with districts through the transition of Revenue Limit Funding to Local Control Funding Formula.
  2. Worked with districts as they prepared their LCAPs
  3. With 75% of staff being in the department for two years there has been a focus on professional development training which has allowed External Business to build and provide a knowledgeable and professional customer service approach to districts.  
  4. External Business has worked to build and team relationship to better service districts of Sutter County with the understanding that we are all here to serve students.  

Employee Spotlight
Laura Avelar
Accountant II, External Business

Q: If you could switch your job with anyone else within SCSOS, whose job would you want?

A: Probably a Para Educator.  I love being around kids.

Q: How long have you worked here?

A: I have worked at SCSOS for 21 years.

Q: What do you like most about SCSOS?

A: The flexibility.  I've been able to volunteer at my kids' school, go on their field-trips, etc.  People are always willing to help each other out and cover for each other.

Q: What is your proudest moment at SCSOS?

A: Completing all my tasks on time as well as figuring things out on my own.

Q: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?

A: I don't know.  I watch movies but do not know the names of the actors.

Q: If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: Chinese food - Stir Fry vegetables and shrimp.  

Q: What is your motto or personal mantra?

A: Treat others as you wish to be treated and respect who each person is.

Q: What are three words to best describe you?

A: Quite, responsible, and independent.   

Q: People would be surprised if they knew:

A: That I purchased my own home at age 21, only eight years after I moved to the US from Mexico.  I was also the first in my family to complete their Bachelors degree.

Q: What advice would you give to recent new hires?

A: Understand why and how your job impacts others. 

Q: What book did you read last?

A: A book called "The Magic Tree House".  My son had to do a report on it so I read it to make sure he was answering the questions correctly.  

Q: What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

A: I love my job, but mainly working with spreadsheets that resemble somewhat a puzzle.

Q: What did you want to be when growing up?

A:  An architect.

Q: What is your favorite number and why?

A: I would say 32.  25 for my son’s birthday and 7 for my daughter’s.

Q: What’s on your bucket list?

A: I want to travel with my family.

Q: Tell me a joke that always makes you laugh.

A:Most jokes make me laugh but I don’t recall one that just stuck to me.

Q: What three traits define you?

A:  Determined, Thankful, Forgiving.

Q: Name something you can’t live without.

A: My family. 

Q: What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome so far?

A:  Probably learning to live in a culture different than I was born into.  It was a little hard but I am happy I am where I’m at.

Q: What is your greatest fear (can’t be of someone dying)?

A: Speaking in public.  Makes me sick having to do it.

Q: What does true leadership mean to you?

A: Someone who guides, preferably by example, who is trustful, knowledgeable but humble, and cares for each team member.

Q: What would you go back at tell your 13 year old self?

A: Don’t accept responsibilities that don’t belong to you.