EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – Through COVID, school closures, and changing Superintendents, Gilmer Schools is continuing what is fast becoming a tradition in its Financial Department. Once again this year, the Financial Department, with Director and CFO Trina Penland, has received the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA) Award of Distinction for Excellent Financial Reporting.
For five consecutive years, Gilmer County has received this award.
A rare award for school administrations, usually only roughly 20% of municipalities that report in the DOAA receive the award. These include county school systems, city school systems, and universities. Even rarer, Gilmer shares the running streak of consecutive awards with only a few of those municipalities according to reports on the DOAA website.
The Distinction Award is given to those submitting “quality financial statements and supporting documentation in a timely manner.” They must also have an unmodified audit opinion free of any “significant deficiencies or material weaknesses.” Candidates must also comply with all Transparency in Government Act requirements.
According to their site, “The Best Practice Criteria has been established to recognize better practices for financial reporting and controls. This Certificate of Achievement encourages Local Boards of Educations to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and recognize individual organizations that are successful in achieving that goal.”
On top of their five year streak, the school system is actually celebrating its sixth award in the last seven years.
Though the Board receives the award as the reporting entity, they lay the recognition at the feet of CFO Trina Penland and the finance staff as they offered their congratulations to Penland during the July BOE Worksession.