From the Board of Education: Grant Writer - A Shared Community Resource

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Board of Education Broadcast Communication article - July 2022

Our communities are at a crossroads at a vital and challenging time. We are wrought with constrained budgets and increased costs. Our collective lists of needs continue to burgeon. What can we do? According to President Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Under advisement from Suamico Village Administrator Alex Kaker, The Howard-Suamico School District entered into an agreement with Suamico and the Village of Howard to hire a shared grant writer giving us communal expertise to follow Roosevelt’s advice.

Howard, Suamico and the School District aren’t so different. Statistically the demographics of the two villages are close to similar in terms of population characteristics, income, average home value, and more.

Howard Administrator Paul Evert agrees. “Although the services the District and Villages provide may seem very different, we are all working to build a vibrant and active community. Communicating and working together lead to the shared grant writer position that will continue to help us explore more opportunities that benefit our residents.”

In fact, the mission and vision statements of our three municipalities share one word in common: “innovative.” Our grant writer is tasked to have an innovative mindset.

When either Howard, Suamico or the School District benefits, the other groups benefit as well. For example, a grant to improve mental health services in our schools, makes our district more equitable to students in need of support. This in turn improves our students’ lives and the lives of their parents. Word spreads, our reputation gets stronger, and ultimately this plays a small part to encourage more people to move here. There are countless examples, but the logic remains the same in each scenario.

That is why collaboration is the key to this position. Hopefully the villages and School District can eventually share resources for major grant projects to benefit the 33,000 people who call Howard-Suamico home. These opportunities are discussed at monthly meetings with the grant writer and administrators from each municipality. Kaker said “Effective consolidation of public services starts with strong communication and trust. Linkage meetings facilitated by HSSD have opened the door to innovative ideas. With continued hard work and a bit of luck, this position will save the taxpayers of three taxing entities real dollars and reaffirm what we already know - that the Howard-Suamico area is a premier place to live, learn, work, and play.”

Our grant writer is guided by the policy of the Howard-Suamico Board of Education, as well as our district’s Strategic Framework and our Graduate Profile. He is in routine contact with Evert and Kaker and is hard at work to make a difference by creating actionable results to support a plethora of projects and programs.

Ben Rodgers started in the shared grant writer role in January. We are confident in his abilities and excited to learn about the ways we can improve, not just as one entity, but as three municipalities with common goals.

For more information about the Howard-Suamico School District, please visit our website at www.hssdschools.org

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