Saturday, May 18, 2024

Cascade School District Celebrates Dwight Remick on the Cusp of His Retirement

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Dwight Remick, the Executive Director of Finance and Operations at Cascade School District (CSD), is retiring after a long and accomplished career. Minnesota born and Montana raised, Remick earned his Bachelor’s degree in public accounting from Gonzaga University (and later a Master’s in Education Administration) and took his first job as Business Manager in 1989 for the Newport School District north of Spokane. He held the top finance roles and one stint as superintendent in Newport, Ritzville, Othello and, coming to North Central Washington, he at first served both Cascade and Cashmere School Districts. “When Cascade passed the construction bonds, [former superintendent] Bill Motsenbocker requested that I consider working for Cascade because of the magnitude of the projects, and so I became the Executive Director of Finance and Operations for Cascade,” Remick said.The business office at any school district, no matter the size, has significant year-round responsibility with rigid deadlines to keep the schools’ current operations within budget and forecasting so the next school year is financially sound while providing the most benefit to studentsRemick explained the yearly work cycle, “Opening day for students is also the end of the fiscal year so every fall is like starting something new and finishing multiple projects at the same time. As the winter holidays approach, that means the arrival of the State Auditor and trying to remember everything you did (and why) for the prior year. In January, it’s time to take stock of the current year and begin to develop the budget for the next year. As the school year draws to a close, there are grants for the next year to work on while finalizing and reporting on the current year grants. The summer means the formal budget process as well as making sure the facilities are refreshed and ready for the start of another year.”

Remick works closely with the superintendent, all the principals, the department directors, and the school board, providing reports, giving financial guidance and sharing information, as Remick said, “to be able to predict financial impacts of new programs and State level mandates as well as changes in day-to-day operations.”

Remick considered his career very satisfying, because he was able to use financial information to help guide District management and operations. And more specifically, he said, “I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to be directly involved with eight different major construction projects that will have long-term impacts on three different communities. Every time I visit one of our amazing buildings here in Cascade, I am proud to know that I helped ‘make it happen.’”

About the people he worked with, Remick said, “Education is an area where the devotion to providing opportunities for students makes it easy to come to work because virtually everyone you work with is passionate.”

Remick’s colleagues praised him for his many skills, dedication, and leadership. “Dwight has the unique ability to gain people’s trust quickly. He is highly ethical, honest, and extremely bright. Dwight is a bit like EF Hutton. When he speaks, the room goes silent and everyone listens,” said former Superintendent Bill Motsenbocker, adding. “I generally receive more credit than I deserve when the subject of bond passage and school construction is mentioned. Dwight’s work behind the scenes, however, is why all three school construction projects were such a huge success.”

Superintendent Tracey Edou shared, “Dwight has led the district through good times and bad, always making sure that the district is fiscally responsible. There have never been any audit findings on his watch. I would like to thank Dwight not only for his fiscal oversight and partnership, but also for his friendship. Weathering the pandemic elbow-to-elbow with Dwight made it bearable. He will be greatly missed.”

Facilities Director Teresa Disher said, “I have had the honor and the privilege of working directly with Dwight for the past nine years. In that time, he has been a wonderful boss, mentor, and friend. His ability to observe obstacles and problem solve from many different points of view is something I will always admire and try to emulate. He has been an integral part of our success as a district, and he will be missed.”

With retirement, Remick is excited to travel and keep up with his large family. “I have six granddaughters and one grandson that I plan to spend as much time with as possible; the oldest of which is starting middle school in Cashmere this fall.”

Well-known for his Gonzaga ties, and continuing to share his expertise, Remick said, “I have been in contact with Gonzaga to possibly do some guest lecturing in the area of school finance for their School Administration Program.” On a fun note, Remick said, “Watching the Zag games are a family affair; three daughters and a son-in-law are also alumni!”

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