When Tina Wiley went to the state convention for the Arkansas Association of School Business Officials on March 6, she wasn’t expecting to walk away with some serious hardware.
Instead, she walked away with the Truett Goatcher School Business Administrator of the Year award.
According to the Arkansas Association of School Business Officials’ website, the Truett Goatcher School Business Administrator of the Year award was designed to honor Goatcher, a long-time school business official, Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas Association of Educational Administrators staff member and a mentor to many.
“When [Goatcher] served on the AAEA, he was our go-to person in the business world when it came to schools. He mentored a lot of people,” Wiley said.
Wiley serves as comptroller for the Cabot Public School District. She said she was surprised when the award was presented to her.
“They read your bio before they announce the name, and you can tell [who it is] the further they get into it. When I looked up, my superintendent, assistant superintendent and spouse were standing in the back of the room because they knew ahead of time,” Wiley said.
Wiley is no stranger to working with financial systems in schools. She has been director of finance for the Cabot School District for five years, but prior to working at Cabot, Wiley served as director of finance for the Beebe School District.
Recipients of the Truett Goatcher School Business Administrator of the Year award have to be nominated, Wiley said.
“The Arkansas Association of School Business Officials sends out a notice to let everyone know if they want to nominate someone they know,” she said. “They attach a form and you can nominate someone. You could get nominated from another businessperson, and a lot of times it’s the superintendent.”
Wiley said she enjoys her job with the school district because, ultimately, she is getting the opportunity to make an impact on students’ lives.
“I’m not in a classroom with kids every day, but I get to see the results of it. When we go to board meetings, we always have a lot of [student] recognition at the board meetings. When you see all of the kids being recognized for things, you kind of feel like you’re a part of all of it,” she said.
Tony Thurman, superintendent of the Cabot School District, said he is proud of Wiley for receiving this honor.
“[Wiley] is recognized in our state as a leader in the area of school finance and operations. She serves a mentor and resource person for many school business officers across Arkansas and she is always willing to help others,” Thurman said.
“We have long known that we have a great leader in our business office, and it’s great to know that other business officials in our state recognize her the same way.”