New KSBA services

New KSBA services

KSBA meeting member needs with new staff, new services
Kentucky School Advocate
November 2016
By Matt McCarty
Staff writer
The winds of change are blowing through KSBA’s offices this fall, with new staffers signaling new training opportunities for school board members, in both Board Team Development and Legal Training Services.

“This is really a member service-focused effort, all of it,” said Kerri Schelling, KSBA’s associate executive director and director of board team development. “We’re trying to bring members the kinds of topics they need in a more convenient way.”

Online learning center
Becky Burgett, who served for 20 years as a Gallatin County school board member, joins KSBA as the part-time online learning specialist.

“We are so excited to have Becky with us because not only does she bring the perspective of understanding online learning and what it takes to make user-friendly modules, but her experience as a local board member means she understands what members need and how they’re going to use it. So I just can’t think of a better way to get this accomplished with anyone more competent.”

The opportunity to get their training online will be a convenience for board members, Schelling said.
Becky Burgett, a former school board member and KSBA cadre member, is the 
new online learning specialist in KSBA’s Board Team Development department.

“Board members have told us for several years they’d like us to move in this direction. They love to come to conferences, they love to network, they see the value in participating in sessions face-to-face with discussion and a facilitator, but sometimes they need to have the flexibility to get information in other ways so having the option to take a class when it’s convenient for them is really going to have a positive impact,” she said. Burgett has been a member of the KSBA training cadre for the past eight years.

“The eight years I’ve spent as a cadre member have been very enjoyable and I’ve learned so much, not only from KSBA, but from board teams across the state,” Burgett said. “Every board is unique and it’s fascinating how each works a little differently, but often with similar results. I’m excited to take the next step of part-time employment to further cement my relationship with some very dedicated and talented professionals.”

KSBA will offer a small number of online classes in ethics, superintendent evaluation and finance this fall as part of a pilot before the online learning center is launched in February at its annual conference.

“My vision is that the online portal will not only be convenient, but current and resourceful to board members, especially those newly elected who are trying to get clear on their role and responsibilities. The faster we can help members become more effective and efficient, the stronger the local leadership team will be, which can only lead to good things for students,” Burgett said.

It will have more than just modules for training credit.

“We envision over time it having a lot of resources, short videos about things board members and superintendents want to know that they can access anytime,” Schelling said. “It’s really going to be learning in the biggest sense.”
Legal Training Services
Whitney Crowe, who has experience working with both nonprofits and education, is KSBA’s new staff attorney in Legal Training Services.

“Whitney is going to focus primarily on developing legal training for school board members,” Schelling said. “We’ve provided legal training in the past for boards. It’s not a new concept, it’s just that we haven’t had the luxury of staff to do it. (Staff attorney) John Fogle has always provided excellent training services but there’s one John and 173 member districts, so it’s a capacity issue.

“Having someone whose primary focus is on developing and delivering legal workshops, specifically designed to help boards avoid missteps, is a service we know our members have wanted and one we’ve wanted to grow for a long time; we just haven’t had the ability before now.”

Crowe was a staff attorney for the Education Professional Standards Board, where in addition to prosecuting educator misconduct of the code of ethics, she also handled Open Records requests and appeals, reviewed and negotiated contracts and conducted trainings for local school districts as well as at the postsecondary level. She most recently worked for The Council of State Governments in Lexington.

“We were very fortunate to find someone with a combination of experience and dynamic personality. She’s an exceptional trainer and we couldn’t be happier with her joining our staff,” Schelling said.

Crowe has been attending the KSBA fall regional meetings since her hiring, and will conduct her first training session at next month’s Winter Symposium.

“My first priority is building relationships with our members, and joining KSBA in the midst of the regional meetings has been great timing. And, I’m excited to begin developing and offering legal trainings for school boards. I recognize that school board members have a lot to do and a limited amount of time on their hands, and I’m looking forward to being a resource to them and giving them information and tools that will allow them to operate efficiently, effectively and with a better understanding of school law,” Crowe said.

She said she’s also excited to be back working in education.

“My mother is also in education. She’s currently an education recovery leader for the Kentucky Department of Education and has been working in Kentucky’s public schools for 30 years. I definitely inherited her passion for education and joining KSBA feels a bit like a homecoming for me.”
KSBA Medicaid Billing Service going strong
Barbara Tumolo-Wash has joined KSBA as the school-based health services coordinator for the Association’s Medicaid Billing Service.

KSBA’s ezEdMed online billing service helps school districts secure reimbursement of the cost for health services provided to special education students who are Medicaid-eligible.

“What I’ve learned is that there are a lot of dedicated providers out there,” Tumolo-Wash said. “As a provider, I cannot believe, in talking with these therapists and teachers and administrators and special educators, how dedicated they are. For me, that was an eye opener as to how many people want to help and want to improve things with special education.”

There are 143 districts and more than 2,000 special education staff who use the ezEdMed system, which provides online caseload scheduling of services and documentation for both special education compliance and Medicaid reimbursement.

“Now the service is offering so much more,” Tumolo-Wash said, with more functions carried out electronically, such as electronic signatures for nurses to use in the process.

More information about ezEdMed can be found at
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