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Jackson resigns as Haakon School business manager

The business manager since 1995 for the Haakon School District 27-1 has resigned. Marcia Jackson will be assuming the business manager responsibilities for the Hot Springs School District on July 1.

A special school board meeting was held Tuesday, May 24, during which Jackson’s resignation was accepted with regret. The position’s contract expires June 30. The school board authorized advertising to fill the position.

Marcia and Bill Jackson will be moving to Hot Springs after living in Philip for ten years and in Midland for many years before that. Marcia Jackson was raised south of Ottumwa and attended school in Midland. When she was offered a position with the school which involved secretarial and aid duties, she said that she was qualified, but also lucky. Later, in 1977, when Jackson was able to assume the responsibilities of the business manager position for the Midland school system, “I needed a job that was year-round and I saw it as a definite opportunity for advancement.”

Eighteen years later, she took over as the business manager for the Haakon School District 27-1. Now, in 2005, she will take over as business manager for the Hot Springs School District. Hot Springs has a population of over 4,000 people and the school district has only one rural school.

The decision to leave Philip was supported by three main thoughts: it would be a chance for Bill to be closer to a Veterans Affairs Hospital, it would be a further advancement in her career, and it would be a nice opportunity to live in the Black Hills.

The actual move will be difficult. She is a big saver of memorabilia. She likes to remember all the people she has known and with whom she has worked. Jackson remembers the first school superintendent she worked with, Richard “Rock” Rockafellow in Midland. She has worked with two superintendents while in Philip, Ted Kunz and Dr. Julie Ertz. She has worked with many school principals.

Working with great people is just one benefit of being a school business manager. “I can’t believe how many people I have known over the years. Everyone touches your life in some way either positively or negatively. Around here, that’s the really nice part of my job; there are very few people that you wish you had never met.” Jackson realizes that, “There will be changes now, but having known so many great people will make a difference.”

“My job is great because part of it is being where the kids are. They have life; nothing slows them down,” Jackson said. “The work is challenging. While complying with local, state and federal laws, you work with others in trying to get the best opportunities for learning but with limited resources.”

“The times have changed,” Jackson said. “One of the first major issues when I came to Philip was the possible four-day school week. Now the school district is going to that for next year.” Jackson continued, “I’m proud of the school’s current accounting system. It used to be all manual and now it has changed to being computerized, even with copiers being networked and everyone being connected by e-mail.”

The office hasn’t been the only place Jackson spends her professional time. She has served four years on the South Dakota Board of School Administrators (1996-2000). In 1992-93 she was President of the South Dakota Association of School Business Officials, an organization that she has been a member of for 28 years. Marcia Jackson still belongs to the Philip Chamber of Commerce.

Even while leaving, Jackson is concerned about the Haakon School System and about Philip. While hoping to get a little time for transition and having accrued plenty of vacation time, she is concerned about June and July being the end of the fiscal year. The annual reporting to the state makes this time of the year the busiest time in her job. “I wouldn’t mind taking the rest of the month off, but I can’t do that.” She is hoping to help her replacement adjust to the position, and she realizes that a new superintendent will be coming at the same time. “It will still be a fun time with lots of things to get done in a month.”

Marcia and Bill, her husband of 22 years, have known a lot of people in the Haakon County area. “We will be back and forth, here and there, as much as possible,” Marcia said. The two admit to having their differences, but both enjoy eating out, good humor, and friends. “We have one of the best marriages. He is easy to live with and is tolerant of me being a women’s libber. We get along pretty well.”