MARSHALL - To say that Bruce Lamprecht, director of business services at Marshall Public School, wears a lot of hats in the education system may be an understatement.
In addition to overseeing a multi-million dollar school budget and a four-person team of financial officers for the past 18 years, Lamprecht also has other job duties, such as overseeing the food service, transportation and operations and maintenance departments.
"I'm the conduit," Lamprecht said. "Ultimately, a lot of things cross my desk. If there are issues or budget planning, I'm certainly part of that. I enjoy having a host of different jobs and responsibilities."
Photo by Jenny Kirk
As director of business services at Marshall Public School, Bruce Lamprecht was the focus of the December Tiger Spotlight. At the Dec. 19 board meeting, Lamprecht, right, received recognition from Marshall Superintendent Klint Willert, who said he was proud and honored to consider Lamprecht both a professional colleague and a friend.
While most of the work Lamprecht and his financial team does is behind-the-scenes, the impact their efforts have on the children and the community is front and center. Superintendent Klint Willert calls him a "constant professional" who is a top-notch representative of both the district and the profession of school business officials.
"Bruce is always willing to go the extra mile without concern of recognition or worry of the time and energy it takes," Willert said. "He has served as a Big Buddy in the community, has directed traffic at our schools and he has found time to read in the classrooms during 'I Love to Read Month.' He has done all these things while maintaining a strong focus on his role of managing the financial health and well-being of the district."
Despite the fact that the school's business office has received the "School Finance Award" from the Minnesota Department of Education for the past seven or eight years and a "certificate of excellence in financial planning" from the National Association of School Business Officials this past year, Lamprecht believes he's just doing his job.
"They're very nice awards to get, but I feel like I'm a support person for the whole district," he said. "I'm here to provide a service to staff and students, assist teachers and administration and to serve the taxpayers while trying to be prudent in our financial management."
Lamprecht is also quick to point out that it takes a team effort to function well.
"It's a reflection of the work our office does together along with what the staff does and through the support of the school board," Lamprecht said. "That's how we make things work."
La Oeltjenbruns, superintendent's assistant, has worked with Lamprecht for nearly two decades and considers him to be the most "conscientious" and "fair-minded" person she knows.
"He's there with a quick pun to make you laugh and is also the first one to offer his assistance when and where it's needed when you're feeling low," Oeltjenbruns said. "He's a well-respected colleague, and I feel privileged to be associated with his team."
Oeltjenbruns also noted that Lamprecht has been involved with the United Way, Big Buddies, Marshall Rotary, Heart to Heart, Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce and is a Blandin Foundation Community Leader.
At the Dec. 19 school board meeting, Lamprecht was recognized in the December Spotlight, for his strong commitment to education and community. While honored, Lamprecht quickly wanted to put the emphasis back on where he thinks it should be - the students.
"It's about the kids," he said. "And, it really does take the entire staff to deliver a good education to the kids. Teachers are on the main line, having day-to-day contact with them, but it really does take our entire staff, including the bus drivers, maintenance and so on, to make things run smoothly."
The biggest challenge the district business office has, Lamprecht said, is trying to effectively dedicate and utilize the resources to provide the best educational experience for all students.
"That's a huge challenge," he said. "And we continually try to do that - utilizing the resources that we receive in the very best fashion to impact the students in a positive manner."
While there might be disagreements on what the first priorities should be, Lamprecht feels the administrative team works well with the rest of the staff. Making cuts to personnel or programs is always tough, he said.
"No one thinks their program should get cut," Lamprecht said. "So those are the challenges and that's part of the job as a school business official. I don't want to obligate school citizens or the school board. We shouldn't be pushing those obligations off into the future. It's a conundrum in some respects."
Lamprecht believes the district has done a good job of being fiscally responsible and greatly appreciates that the taxpayers have allowed them to have operating referendums.
"It's about providing a great educational experience for all students, and I emphasize all students," he said. "We have diversity in our student population and there are many special needs. To coordinate all that can be difficult. We need to stay within the letter of the law and it's sometimes a challenge, with the limited funding we've had, to make it work. Budgeting is a huge part of it."
Lamprecht's professional experience helps the district in that regard. But he also contributes on a state and national level. He is currently active in the Minnesota Association of School Business Officials.
Though fulfilling, Lamprecht said he's equally satisfied when a budget turned out really well or when someone says thank you for what he's done, including validating the decision he helped make whether or not to hold school during inclement weather.
"When someone tells you that what you do in the office is appreciated, that's priceless," he said.