Upper Arlington Schools Treasurer / CFO Andrew L. Geistfeld has been named the 2022 Ohio Outstanding Treasurer of the Year by the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) — leading the way among more than 600 school districts across the state.
Geistfeld is a Golden Bear through and through. He graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 1990 and returned to Upper Arlington Schools in November 2005 as the treasurer / chief financial officer.
“This recognition for Andy reflects what we’ve known for a long time — we have the best treasurer in the state of Ohio,” Upper Arlington Board of Education President Lori Trent said. “We could not be more proud of Andy receiving this award — which truly reflects his commitment to fiscal responsibility for our community.”
Under Geistfeld’s leadership, the treasurer’s office has successfully managed a $230 million in bond funding for the first phase of the facilities master plan — ensuring that the community’s new high school and five renovated or rebuilt elementary school projects remained on budget and on schedule. In addition, Geistfeld’s office proactively took on a bond refunding project this year, which netted a gross savings of approximately $24 million for Upper Arlington taxpayers over the life of those bonds.
In addition, the treasurer’s office has sought out creative solutions to stretch the district’s resources after a planned operating levy request was delayed for two years due to the pandemic and related economic concerns. In the absence of new operating funding, the district has reduced its budget reserve; has sought out approximately $4.6 million in cost reductions, primarily through a three-year hiring freeze on new positions; and has utilized additional COVID-related funding made available to school districts.
Upper Arlington Schools continues to be a financial leader across the state — ranking #1 in the percentage of funding dedicated to classroom instruction out of approximately 610 public school districts in Ohio (2020-2021 State Report Card).
The district also consistently earns a clean audit opinion and the Auditor of State Award, recognizing its commitment to effective and accountable financial practices for the community, and continues to be one of a handful of Ohio school districts to have the highest bond rating — AAA — from S&P Global due to strong financial planning and community support. Having a AAA bond rating allows Upper Arlington Schools to obtain lower interest rates when issuing debt, decreasing the costs for the community.
OASBO has recognized outstanding treasurers / chief financial officers, along with other school business leaders, with these awards since 1985 — which honor individuals for their successful management of public funding, their personal successes and accomplishments, and their selfless service to their school district, their profession and their community.