Chris Passarge, Chief Operations Officer, Lakota Local Schools

By Chris Passarge posted 08-05-2021 11:39 AM


How many years have you been in the school business profession?

I've been a school business professional for 14 years.


What is your proudest career accomplishment?

My proudest career accomplishment is being named the School Business Operations Manager of the Year in 2011.


What do you feel is the most important part of your job?

Supporting teaching and learning is the most important part of my job. No matter where you work, you have to be a great supporter of your organization's mission. In this case, our mission involves supporting teaching and learning, and it's my job to make sure it can happen in a safe, clean environment, that the kids get to school in a safe and timely fashion, and are receiving nutritious meals.


What makes your district unique in the state?

I think what makes us unique is even though we are a large district we are not afraid to be leaders in a lot of areas and take a lot of leading-edge chances. We’re always looking at how we can do things differently and/or better. We are never satisfied with the status quo. You would think maybe some of the larger districts would just try to manage and get by, but we're always looking to change and get better. I think that's really unique about a district our size.


What is at the top of your professional bucket list?

I think as I continue further in my career I would like to do some more mentoring and development of potential future business operations people. That would be something I look forward to in the future and at the top of my bucket list.


What is at the top of your personal bucket list?

I think it'd be great to travel to all 50 states. I love to do that. I like to travel. I like to see the country and I’d like to see it all, but I haven’t been to many so I would like to work towards that.


If you were an office supply item, which would you be and why?

If I was an office supply item, I would be a rubber band. In this profession, you need to learn how to stretch and bend and be flexible in every way possible. Sometimes you use rubber bands for unique situations that you wouldn’t normally use a rubber band for, and that relates to our roles as business operations leaders. You have to bend and stretch and do a lot of things that you typically wouldn’t do in a normal organization. I think that is the best representation of an office supply that relates to my role in business operations in the district.


Favorite Movie?

My favorite movie is an old classic, Excalibur from the early 1980s.


Which fictional character would you most like to meet in real life?

The fictional character I'd most like to meet in real life goes back to my favorite movie – I’d really like to meet King Arthur and the Knights of the round table.


How many years have you been an OASBO member?

I’ve been an OASBO member for 14 years.


How and/or why did you first get involved in OASBO?

I got involved when I first started here at Lakota. I started in March and the Annual Conference was in April. Our treasurer at the time told me I should go because it was a great opportunity to meet some of my peers to network and learn about school business. I was very new to school business at that time, having never had a school position and coming from the corporate side of the of the world, so the Annual Conference is how I first got involved.


What has been the best, or your favorite part of being involved in OASBO?

The best part about being involved in OASBO is developing relationships and connecting with your peers around the state of Ohio. You get to connect with people who have been in your shoes at various size districts, and you learn the good, the bad, the ugly. You can then take what you learn from them back to your district. If you have questions or need help, you can rely on OASBO members that have similar experiences. It's really the idea of connecting and networking and being supportive of the other School Business Officials in the state of Ohio that is the best part of OASBO.