His work to guide a facilities master planning process for the Upper Arlington school district earned Chief Operating Officer Chris Potts the 2018 Pinnacle of Achievement Award from the Association of School Business Officials International.
The ASBO, founded in 1910, is a nonprofit organization that represents about 30,000 school business professionals worldwide.
In making the July 9 announcement, the organization said Potts was recognized for his work on a facilities master planning process "that reflects the community's vision for the future of the district's schools."
The honor for Potts comes after the district enlisted a team of community experts in 2014 that identified the condition of the district's school buildings as the greatest threat to its finances.
Potts is credited with leading a community-driven master planning process over the next two and a half years that enabled the district to record more than 80,000 points of contact with community members for input about school buildings and their needs. That work ultimately paid off for the district when voters in November 2017 passed Issue 4. It included a 5.17-mill bond to generate $230 million over 38 years to pay for upgrades to Upper Arlington High School and the district's five elementary schools.
Potts will be recognized at the ASBO international annual meeting and expo in Kissimmee, Florida, in September.
"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of our district, community and the monumental team effort that was necessary to ensure our master planning process was truly community driven," Potts said. "To be recognized nationally for our process is humbling and exciting."
He said he believes the district's process for planning the facilities upgrades was "innovative and inclusive," and he hopes it will serve as a model for other communities.
As the Upper Arlington projects move forward to final designs and construction, he and Chief Financial Officer Andy Geistfeld will oversee the majority of those budgets. Already, that has included revisions to cut costs from initial designs without affecting academic space for all six buildings, including reducing costs for the reconstruction of UAHS and its athletics facilities by $15 million.
Superintendent Paul Imhoff said Potts is "extremely dedicated" to the district and the Upper Arlington community.
"He works tirelessly each day to make sure that our schools are operating efficiently and able to support the needs of our students," Imhoff said.
"His amazing level of commitment was clearly on display during the facilities master planning process.
"The board of education requested a community-driven process, and Chris put countless hours into making sure the end product was truly a reflection of our community's expectations for the future of education in Upper Arlington."
In addition to his work with the facilities planning and oversight, Potts provides leadership and support services to district employees to ensure operations meet the educational needs and expectations of students, staff and the community.
He said implementing the facilities master plan is a key focus for district officials.
"These projects are critical to the long-term financial health of our district," Potts said.
"They will make sure that we can continue to focus on providing the highest quality of education possible to the students of Upper Arlington in future-ready facilities."