Chief Financial Officer, Springfield Public Schools; Age 32Patrick Roach wants to improve the Springfield public-school system.
“I care about the city, and want to make sure that every resource is allocated and invested appropriately so students get the services that will give them the best chance to succeed,” he told BusinessWest.
His efforts have been highly successful, and as a result of his innovative thinking and strategic fiscal management, the district was able to present a balanced budget to the School Committee for fiscal year 2014-15. That accomplishment was particularly significant because Roach had to deal with a $16.8 million budget deficit, but was able to include new initiatives to help students.
“Education is the great equalizer,” he said. “But although it puts everyone on the same footing and gives children opportunities to do well in life, a lot of our kids don’t have the same support at home that children in suburban communities get.”
He was responsible for the merger and reorganization of the accounting and finance departments, streamlining the procurement process, reducing unemployment service costs by more than $1.5 million annually, and other money-saving measures. As a result, Springfield received the prestigious Meritorious Budget Award from the Assoc. of School Business Officials International for four consecutive years, and the school department was feted with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Assoc. of the U.S. for three consecutive years.
Roach and his wife Deanna have three children — 6-year-old Patrick Jr., 5-year-old Dominic, and 2-year-old Audrey — and he considers the time and effort he puts into his job an investment that will pay off in the future, especially since his children attend Springfield Public Schools.
“I love my family, and they are behind my motivation to work hard,” he said.
Roach is the volunteer classified personnel training program coordinator for the Mass. Assoc. of School Business Officials, a board member of the Springfield Parking Authority, and a former board member of SABIS International Charter School.
“Parking has to do with economic development and improving the infrastructure so it looks new and helps people feel safe,” he said in reference to that important assignment.
“I put a lot into my job and work nights and weekends,” he added. “And although I never pictured myself in government, I really enjoy this. I care about public service, this city, and its schools.”
— Kathleen Mitchell