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KSBA News Article

Strong reserves: KSBA bids farewell to two long-serving staff members

Steve Smith and family

Kentucky School Advocate
December 2023

By Josh Shoulta
Staff writer

Each day, as he moves from meeting to meeting, Steve Smith carries two things: a calculator and a disarming  sense of humor. Each has come in handy as KSBA’s chief financial officer, overseeing the association’s financial health through periods of both significant growth and historic economic uncertainty.

As Smith prepares to retire at the end of December after nearly 15 years in his role, one can describe the state of KSBA’s books using his trademark mantra uttered hundreds of times throughout his tenure.

“Good liquidity and strong reserves,” said KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling. “If you were to play KSBA bingo during any board of directors or staff meeting in the last decade, Steve’s use of the phrase would be your free space. And it’s the truth, with the help of his steady leadership.”

Since joining KSBA in 2009, after years in the private sector, Smith found renewed fulfillment in the work and the people with whom he worked.  

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with several corporations during my career ranging from large public companies to small entrepreneurial concerns,” he said. “I’ve found KSBA to have been the most rewarding professional experience.”

Beth Pritchett and her three daughters. From left: Michaelle, Tess, Beth Pritchett and Haley

KSBA Executive Assistant Beth Pritchett, who is also set to retire in December, attributes her professional successes, in large part, to her colleagues.“All the laughs, kind words and the encouragement,” she said. “We got through everything, even the struggles, with a smile.”

Pritchett came to KSBA in 2017, balancing many hats early on, something she says added to her “wardrobe of skills.”

Much of her time and effort over the past seven years has been spent serving as the association’s principal liaison for its board of directors: preparing complex meeting and travel arrangements, coordinating logistics for regional meetings, problem solving and fact finding. She also oversaw a major expansion of KSBA’s student scholarship and grant programs.

“Beth is a talented juggler of tasks, and a constant source of warmth and hospitality,” Schelling said. “The world, nowadays, could use more Beths.”

Despite Pritchett hanging up her many KSBA hats, she has no intention of idling.  

“I am looking forward to celebrating my oldest daughter’s upcoming marriage, visiting my family more, delving into my artsy crafty world, traveling and spending more time with a very special person who has recently re-entered my life,” she said.

Smith welcomes the opportunity to spend more quality time with his growing family.

“I’m looking forward to spending time traveling with my wife, Jane, and watching our grandchildren grow and learn,” he said. “I hope to be involved in some charitable and community organizations, and work on my golf game.”  

When reflecting on their time at KSBA, both Smith and Pritchett credit the association’s mission as a point of pride.

“It’s been my pleasure to be part of an organization and team at KSBA whose mission is to support public education and benefit the welfare of the children of Kentucky,” Smith said.

Top photo: From left: Smith’s son, Ned; grandson, Isaac; Steve Smith; granddaughter, Alice; and son, Henry.

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