Sarah Carrizales | Payroll Specialist | Gonzales ISD
How did you get your start in school business?
I started as a Payroll Specialist in 2020 during the chaos of COVID with no previous payroll experience. It was because of the support of an incredible finance team at my district and the support of TASBO, that I was able to hit the ground running for our district.
What do you like best about your job and where you work?
I love serving people behind the scenes in ways they may never know about, and I love pleasantly surprising our staff with remarkable service they didn't expect. Additionally, I take pride in forever being a student. I love that I constantly develop payroll expertise, especially when surrounded by so much wisdom from those who have been doing this for years.
Why do you recommend TASBO to your colleagues? What programs and services do you find helpful?
I recommend TASBO because without it, I would not have been able to learn all that my job requires of me successfully. The communities and the online training have been the most helpful services for me. I treasure my training notes and keep them on my bookshelf, often referring to them. I consistently reach out to my peers on TASBO Connect, and our district payroll processes are better because of their generous support.
What is your favorite TASBO training to attend and why?
The TASBO Engage Conference was such an incredible experience for me. Everything was well-organized and truly so engaging, just like the title promised! It was my first opportunity to attend anything TASBO related in person since I started during COVID. I walked away from that event inspired and ready to implement so many new ideas shared.
Who has inspired you in your career?
Amanda Smith and Ashley Wilke, my CFO and Business Manager, are the first two people who come to mind. They amaze me in their ability to juggle the demands of motherhood and their career while giving their full attention to both. They constantly encourage me to utilize the TASBO connections and I am so thankful for that because it is such a huge resource. They are positive, strong leaders in my life. Also, Lori Johnson has been the most influential payroll mentor for me. She is responsive, and I greatly value her opinion. The wisdom she has shared with me has always led me well, and I'm grateful that I have access to her and that she chooses to help when I know her plate is full.
What was your childhood dream job?
I wanted to be a teacher! I never saw myself in payroll and swore I would be a teacher my whole life. Even though I live in a small community, and everybody knows everybody, people still often think I am a teacher.
Tell us one thing people would be surprised to know about you:
Something interesting people may like to know is that when I moved to Gonzales in 2014, I often visited the elementary school for various functions for my children. Every time I came on campus, I would call my husband after I left and tell him that I couldn't explain it but I just felt that I was supposed to be working there. Fast forward 7 years, I got a job with the district at the administration office as a payroll specialist and the following year they moved our offices to that same building I always visited. Plus, my office by happenstance, is the same room I often went to!
What's something you're looking forward to in the future?
Becoming an expert in my field. I hope to pay forward to others all that has been invested in me and I look forward to the day I get to contribute to more when others have questions. It takes a village!
Tell us what it means to you to be TASBO certified.
I am CTSBS Certified, and to me it means validity. It means I spent time listening to experts and learning the most accurate way to do my job.
What else should we know?
I would love to include a huge thank you to everyone at TASBO. I see each of you and am so grateful for the TASBO culture you have created. My district is a huge advocate for TASBO; we are all very grateful.