In Celebration of Her Time at ASMS – Mrs. Cooley

By March 5, 2020 No Comments

I blinked. It feels like the past ten years flew by in a tenth of a second. With retirement approaching I reflect on my time at ASMS as Director of Finance. I chose accounting as a career because I like math and numbers. Some may see an accountant’s job as being tedious and boring, and not very rewarding. This is not so at ASMS. I don’t recall a dull moment.

I’ve watched the future. I’ve watched these young ladies and gentlemen go off to do great things and become a part of change in our world. What is more rewarding than being even a small part of that?

When I started at ASMS, it was in the middle of a very turbulent time, proration. Not only ASMS, but the entire state was suffering. Proration began in 2009, hit the school twice in 2010, and ended in 2011. During those years, ASMS lost a big chunk of its funding. It was difficult balancing a budget when you didn’t know where the bottom was. Staff and faculty member numbers dwindled. I remember being down to our last two boxes of paper clips, hoping they would last until the next fiscal year. I remember closing off a staircase because it needed repair and we didn’t have the funds to repair it. We had to be very creative with what we had.

The silver lining during those times was the resolve and resiliency of our faculty and staff. When a few people give 110%, you can get a whole lot accomplished. Everyone was laser focused on educating these students and keeping them fed, safe, and well.

I think back sometimes and wonder how we made it. How did we keep it together and make it all work with so little? The answer is in the one tiny word in that sentence that is the most meaningful, “we”. What matters the most, and how you will get through hard times, is who is going through it with you. I was teamed up with a great bunch of folks who cared. “We” made it happen.

Today the future is brighter than ever for ASMS. Budgets have improved, not only for ASMS, but for education across the state. Exceptional faculty and staff have joined the ASMS team, leadership is in place, vision and strategic planning is in process, and the path is becoming illuminated.

The ASMS chapter of my life will end on June 30th. I will turn that last page with a smile. You know that feeling when you finish reading a really good book, and it ended just how you imagined it would? That smile.

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