Tahoe Truckee Unified School District hires Steve Dickinson
After embarking on a lengthy nationwide search, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) believes it has found the perfect person to take the helm through shifting economic seas. Although Steve Dickinson just recently stepped into the assistant superintendent of business position, he is certainly not a newcomer to challenging budgetary situations.
In his tenure at the Brainerd School District in central Minnesota, Dickinson, 39, gained plenty of experience managing the ramifications of big budget cuts. And though his profession presents its fair share of tribulations, Dickinson is passionate about public school systems. In his new Tahoe Truckee Unified School District position, Dickinson is charged with overseeing an annual operating budget of almost $50 million.
“I had the opportunity to go into private business, but I started down the public school district path and never left,” Dickinson says. “I like the fact that what a school district is all about is not making a profit; it’s about the kids.”
School board member Bill Kraus lauds Dickinson as a strong communicator who will help to make the school budget understandable and frame the issues in a way that makes sense to a broad audience. Surely this is a skill that will be crucial in the upcoming year as the district faces formidable budget cuts.
“He is a strategic thinker,” Kraus notes. “Steve understands how it all fits together; understanding that the various pieces are interrelated. This is critical when every decision that is made will have an impact on children.”
Thoughtful communication with community and staff members is a top priority for Dickinson. In this regard, he maintains a straightforward credo.
“When someone questions me on a financial issue, I will never say ‘that answer is simply too complicated or too complex for you to understand,'” Dickinson says. “Because it isn’t that complex, there is an answer to every question.”
Still, Dickinson suggests people with difficult questions need to be willing to bring some energy to the table as well. He says just like dedicated students, the concerned public will have to take the time to study and research the budgetary issues fully.
Steve Jennings, district superintendent, notes that TTUSD set the bar high when searching for the right candidate for the position. According to Jennings, after an unsuccessful first search, the district broadened its scope and ultimately found Dickinson.
“Steve Dickinson is bright, knowledgeable and has very good interpersonal skills,” Jennings notes. “He brings a fresh, energetic approach and we are lucky he is here.”
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