Senecia Saveat, M.Ed. | Director of Student Services | Beaumont ISD
How did you get your start in school business?
I actually began my career as a classroom teacher. I taught high school Business Management for several years before navigating the ladder over into school business as the PEIMS Coordinator.
Of course, I really didn't fully understand the height or depth of PEIMS, just basically knew it dealt with numbers and data, two areas I liked. Certainly, people thought PEIMS was sort of a strange 'promotion' from my role of teacher. After earning my M.Ed. in Education Administration, everyone was sure I'd go on to be a principal and perhaps even a superintendent. My affinity to handle numbers and raw data like putty in my hands has kept me moving in a different administrative direction.
I consider myself a 'unicorn' of sorts, in that I love working with numbers as much as I love interacting, teaching and serving people. Typically, people love one or the other a bit more. My role in the district allows me to check off both boxes.
What do you like best about your job and where you work?
The best thing about my job is the opportunity to work with so many wonderful and diverse people to make a difference in the lives of our students and their families. Of course, I wear many hats, as most people in school business do. Data management is only scratching the surface of my responsibilities. I also serve as the district's McKinney-Vento & Foster Care Liaison. In addition to PEIMS and managing the student information software, my department is pretty much command central for newcomers, families experiencing enrollment issues, children experiencing truancy problems, child custody disputes and more. We have nicknamed ourselves Student-Mart, like Wal-Mart, because one stop in our office pretty much covers everything student-related.
While it can be a lot to handle at any given time, I know it's right where God has chosen for me to be in this season. I embrace the fact that ‘to whom much is given, much is required.' There are days when things can get overwhelming and cause you to think the grass may appear greener over on the other side, I wouldn't have it any other way than to be humbled by the privilege and responsibility to work with a great team to make a positive impact on a child's future.
Why do you recommend TASBO to your colleagues? What programs and services do you find useful?
TASBO has so many great learning opportunities for everyone connected with school business. It breaks down the frightening and sometimes legal complexities of so many areas of school business. I think all TASBO services and products are useful, but TASBO Connect has really been my favorite resource.
What is your favorite TASBO training to attend and why?
I take great pleasure in attending the annual TASBO Conferences, the opportunities to learn and network are tremendous.
What was your childhood dream job?
My childhood dream job was to become a police officer. Growing up I loved watching the TV show Chips, with Officer Baker and Officer Poncherello. I imagined that one day, I too would have my own motorcycle and be the first female bike cop in my small town. Guess now I'm riding the cycle of change and enforcing law and order on PEIMS data.
What book could you read over and over again?
In a Pit with a Lion on A Snowy Day by Mark Batterson is by far one of my favorite books. I mean really, who thinks about chasing a lion into a pit? Most people would run away from a lion. This book shows that sometimes you have to set aside fear and actually chase opportunities to be great.
Tell us a fun fact (or two!) about yourself:
I'm a Christmas Baby - born on December 25th - Christmas Day! My mom says I interrupted her Christmas Dinner. Yes...my family makes sure I receive two separate gifts, one to celebrate my birthday, the other for Christmas.
What's one thing you're excited about/looking forward to in the future?
I'm excited about all the wonderful opportunities we can bring students as we network and grow together.
If you have your certification or are currently working towards one, tell us what it means to you to be TASBO certified?
I have completed all my courses in order to receive my RTSBA. I believe that certification is just another way of showing my commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth. It is a way to show employers that I have the training necessary to make an immediate contribution and positive difference to their organization.
Anything else you would like to include?
Thank you to the wonderful folks at TASBO for all they do to serve and support business professionals. A special thank you also to the thousands of education professionals who dedicate their lives to our students and school business. Thank you also for the opportunity to be featured in the member spotlight.