Lindbergh receives top marks on annual audit

Staff Report

Daniel Jones & Associates, Certified Public Accountants, recently gave the Lindbergh School District an unqualified opinion on its audit of the district’s finances for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

An unqualified opinion is the best opinion any organization can receive, and this is the 19th consecutive year that the school district has received an unqualified opinion. The audit yielded no findings, restatements of accounts, material changes or management concerns.

Pat Lanane, the district’s chief financial officer, said during a Board of Education meeting last week that while state statute requires school districts to have an independent audit performed once every two years, Lindbergh has an independent audit conducted every year.

Mark Janiesch of Daniel Jones presented the audit report to the school board Oct. 13.

“… We as auditors look at the district and issue opinions as to whether or not the school district has been presented fairly in all material respects or it has any material misstatements in their financial data, internal control or federal programs,” he said. “We have issued opinions on Pages 1, 36, 43 and 45 on these items and the school district received unqualified opinions on all these pages. This is the highest opinion a district can receive …”

Janiesch later said, “… I’d like to congratulate the district on having an excellent audit and again thank the board for giving us this opportunity.”

Superintendent Jim Simpson told the Call he was pleased with the results of the audit.

“Lindbergh has a long tradition of strong financial tracking of funds and really conservative stewardship of making sure that everything about accounting is at the highest level of standards,” he said. “Therefore, our auditors love our business because they realize that we don’t make them have to dig for things and they don’t have to worry about a lot of things they do sometimes with other groups they may have to audit — schools and otherwise.

“And so we’re pretty happy that our audits always come back with the highest caliber of integrity. We would settle for nothing less. We are committed to making sure that there’s not one single flaw in making sure that our taxpayers’ money is spent wisely and value is added to our district. As we all probably know, Lindbergh is a locally supported district,” he said.

“In some ways, Lindbergh is one of the most locally supported districts in the state of Missouri. We’re at over 90 percent — over 90 cents of every dollar comes locally for us. The state and federal governments do not contribute much money for the operation of Lindbergh schools.’

“So we have close connection and understand where that dollar comes from and I think that gives us even added incentive to make sure it’s wisely tracked and spent,” Simpson said.

In other business last week, the Board of Education voted unanimously to approve two proposals that will unify the schools, promote spirit and create an even stronger sense of community in the years to come.

The first item approved extends the Lindbergh Flyers identity to elementary schools and Lindbergh Early Childhood Education, connecting pupils of all ages and setting the stage for years of increased school spirit.

The Flyers arch logo including Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis airplane already is well-known and has been used for years at Lindbergh High School and Sperreng Middle School, according to a district news release.

In addition, Lindbergh will adjust its official name by dropping “R-VIII,” an antiquated term from the mid-1900s, which originally denoted a reorganization of schools but does not hold any modern meaning, the release stated. The new name, “Lindbergh Schools,” encompasses all buildings, teachers, staff and students.

“This name fits the Lindbergh family tradition,” Simpson stated in the release. “We are a family of schools, and the name adjustment conveys that unity, warmth and connectivity.”

Lindbergh will phase in its updated name and unified mascot over time to conserve resources on such costs as new letterhead and signage.