Eastmont award

Eastmont School District Finance Director Cindy Ulrich accepts the State Auditor’s Stewardship Award Thursday at the annual Washington Association of School Business Officials’ conference.

EAST WENATCHEE — Eastmont School District has received the State Auditor’s Stewardship Award (SASA) for “dedication to making government work better.”

The Thursday award letter describes actions taken by district staff, including finance director Cindy Ulrich and Superintendent Garn Christensen, who demonstrate a commitment to risk management, compliance with state law and safeguarding public funds.

Ulrich, for example, first identified risk associated with cash handling in one department and, with her staff, took a coaching and mentoring approach to help employees comply with district policy and applicable regulations.

She also “clearly and firmly communicated the importance of state law” regarding timeliness of deposits to a third-party vendor that then modified its contract and changed its process to comply with state law.

“We see the district’s dedication not only during the audit process, but more importantly in how district management performs its daily operations,” State Auditor Pat McCarthy wrote.

Christensen was noted for using questions raised by the audit process as a springboard for conversation with district staff.

“District management and staff consistently demonstrate their commitment to accountability and to being good stewards of public funds,” McCarthy wrote.

Eastmont is the only school district to receive the SASA this year, said Kathleen Cooper, director of communications for the state auditor’s office. The stewardship awards were started in 2015, with about a dozen honorees, or fewer, selected each year. Eastmont is one of just 10 schools and institutions of higher education who have received a SASA since then.

The award was presented Thursday to Ulrich at the annual Washington Association of School Business Officials conference.