Tom Elliott Selected For Not-for-Profit Leadership Position

Tom Elliott has been selected as the Executive Director, Member Services for the Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG).  VSMG has over 25 years of experience in group purchasing insurance for government entities in Arizona.  Their range of managed trusts and pools include healthcare, dental coverage, workers’ compensation and liability insurance.  The organization has saved their members and taxpayers millions per year in premiums while maintaining high quality benefits.

Tom Elliott, Executive Director, Member Services, VSMG

Tom Elliott, Executive Director, Member Services, VSMG

Tom Elliott started with VSMG on July 1st, after serving with distinction as the Assistant Superintendent for Business Services at the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) since 2005.  Tom Elliott has thirty years of executive level experience in auditing, financial management and public administration.  He holds degrees in science, business and accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

“I have seen the high quality of staff and services provided by Valley Schools and I am honored to take on this new role in my career in public service.”  Tom Elliott said.  “I look forward to continuing their long tradition of saving money for Arizona members.”

Tom Elliott and his wife Kathy

Tom Elliott and his wife Cathy

Tom Boone, Chairman of the VSMG Board, has long looked upon the possibility of bringing Tom Elliott on board given his proven management abilities and vast experience as a Trustee on various employee benefits Board of Directors.  “Tom Elliott has served in both large and smaller school districts, as an auditor, and is heavily involved in the community.  I can think of no better candidate to have filled this position.”

Tom Boone

Tom Boone

The opportunity arose when Andrea Billings, the Administrator for the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) took a new position with Aon/Hewitt Consulting.  Andrea has been working with VSEBT to insure a smooth transition.  As Executive Director, Member Services, Tom Elliott will serve a more comprehensive role, as VSMG continues to improve its service model and reorganize when necessary to maximize service to their members.

“As a CPA, it is exciting for me to join an organization that has had the highest audit ratings possible every year for their entire quarter century of service.”  Tom Elliott pointed out.  “As the insurance market continues to change rapidly, especially in healthcare, it is important to have this long track record of steady, upstanding and open organizations like VSMG to protect their members during these rough waters.”

Tom Elliott is an avid sports enthusiast, coached youth hockey, and has served on many community boards and associations.  Congratulations and best wishes to Tom Elliott in this new position!

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Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) Controlling Medical Costs

Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) Controlling Medical Costs

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In a world where the healthcare system is changing on a daily basis due to sweeping federal changes under the Affordable Healthcare Act, constantly changing technology and an increasingly sick and aging population, most employers are faced with cutting benefits, eliminating benefits, or seeing astronomically high renewal rates.  Bucking this trend is the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) which was a founding member of Valley Schools over a quarter century ago, which established a purchasing cooperative for school districts to pool their purchasing power to reduce costs.  Starting first with liability insurance, then workers’ compensation, PVUSD moved its healthcare and other employee benefits under the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) nearly ten years ago now, and it has paid dividends.

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Under the trust, PVUSD is able to choose its providers, plans and benefits as an individual district as it always has, while in returning receiving more choices, lower rates and expert consulting from the staff of VSEBT, Aon/Hewitt and Hays Consulting at no additional costs.  This year, starting fiscal year July 1, 2014, PVUSD elected to break out their plan tiering into four tiers from the traditional two tiers which have been in place for several years.  In simpler terms, they went from just single and family, to four levels determining how many are covered under the plan.

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This represented a premium savings for employees who have a spouse or child(ren) only on their plan and only a slight increase for those with more family members.  The district costs are expected to now be a 2.1% reduction from the prior 2013-14 plan year.

Not only are costs going down, but PVUSD was able to expand their preventive drug list for health savings account plan members which means more preventive drugs at a copay prior to meeting their deductible for those on the HDHP plan.  That will provide additional savings to those employees and encourage better health in the long run by making preventive and maintenance drugs more affordable.

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PVUSD also continues to focus on efforts to encourage good consumerism and physician quality, and cost and efficiency.  They implemented the UHC Premium Provider Advantage Plan.  Doctors who are rated both for high quality, satisfaction and efficiency receive two stars in the UHC network directory.  If members choose a Premium Physician, they will have even lower co-pays. This allows the employee to remain in charge of their doctor choices while providing additional options for savings.

Congratulations to PVUSD for its ongoing cutting-edge vision for providing the best quality benefits to its staff and their families while utilizing innovative tools to reduce costs!

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Paradise Valley Unified To Hold Annual 5k Run on February 8th

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Some event information:

*   This is the 4th Annual Event which started the first year with just 200 participants in year one, and are now up to over 1,100 participants not including spectators;
*   The PVUSD Wellness Committee, which is made up of district nurses, Benefits Coordinator Carol Priborsky and Sheri Gilbert from Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) organize and manage the event with the help of district & community volunteers. The committee begins organizing the event each year during the summer;
*  PVUSD has held the very modest registration costs flat every year to encourage community and district participation and affordability for everyone;
*   Last year the district introduced a healthy team competition between sites/schools and continues the tradition this year. A trophy is given to the top three sites with the most registered team participation. There is also a grand traveling trophy engraved with the site winner each year that has the overall registered participants which stays with that site for the year and is highly desired! Dr. Jim Lee will be announcing this years winner of the grand trophy prior to the start of the race.
*   The Awards Ceremony commences at approximately 10 am for the top three finishers in each of eight age groups for both male and female participants;
*   Kids DASH events:  The dash events are organized after the runners are through on the track field for ages ten and under.  These events are free to participate. Depending on the number and ages (they do NOT have to register for the dash events and girls and boys run together) the announcer organizes the kids into age groups of say 3-4, 5-7, and 8-10. Runners race in  a 50 yard dash. Medals are given to all participants’ right after the finish by volunteers and as well as ribbons for 1st – 3rd as they cross the finish line;
*   Registration fees, along with generous donations from PVUSD employee benefit vendors, make this event possible. Benefit vendors include: Delta Dental of Arizona, United Healthcare (UHC), Aflac, Ellie Brockhurst & Associates and VSP;
*   If looking for more runs, you can go to AllArizonaRunningEvents.com and check out the Calendar page.
*   PV School District is celebrating 100 years of excellence this year!
*   For the first 30 years of the district, student’s had to walk to school…talk about your 5K!
*   Dr. Patrick Sweeny, Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Support Secondary, holds the distinction of owning the very first bib issued in our first 5K event held on February 12, 2011.
*   The Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) will have three volunteers assisting with the event (Sheri Gilbert, Rebecca McGonigle and Darlene Kracht); and Delta Dental will providing Stacee Grosshans as an additional helper.

Congratulations to PVUSD for their efforts to keep their staff, students and the community focused on health, wellness and community spirit!

Paradise Valley School District Plans Celebration for Centennial

The Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) is approaching a landmark of 100 years!  As a result, PVUSD is preparing to celebrate a century of teaching students.

District supporters are now preparing for alumni to be returning back to their roots for a celebration of the district that opened in 1913.

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To mark the occasion, the district will be putting on four events: including 1) a golf tournament; 2)  an art festival at the Paradise Valley Mall;  3)  a 5k fitness run; and 4)  a big celebration for the centennial evening.

The centennial evening is planned for October 19, 2013.

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PVUSD has a long and rich history of educating children, hosting an annual 5k run, and being a large part of the local community.  You can type PVUSD in the Search block to find more articles on the district, including the recent 5k run and health fairs co-supported by VSEBT.  Congratulations on 100 years PVUSD!

To help people share memories, photos and connect with each other, a Facebook page has been established. For additional information or to sign up for events, call (602)-449-2205 or visit www.pvschools.net/Centennial.

Paradise Valley Unified School District Holds Annual 5k Run

Paradise Valley Unified School District Holds Annual 5k Run

The Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) holds an annual 5k Run for fitness with support for planning and the project coming from the Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) of which PVUSD is a founding member.  This year, over 1,000 were in attendance and over 800 walked or ran for the event.  This was the third annual event and has grown dramatically each year in success.  This year’s brochure:

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PVUSD Superintendent Dr. James P. Lee awarded prizes to the winners of each category, as well as to the individual schools that brought the most people out to support community fitness.

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The event is now held every Second Saturday in February of each year.  Be sure to get it on your calendar now, as the event may fill up quickly.

This year, the district introduced a friendly “team” competition between departments/schools. Each department/school had separate color t-shirts with their groups name. Trophies were provided for 1st through 3rd place for event participation, and a “traveling” grand prize trophy was awarded for the first year to group with overall participation.  The top three schools in getting out the runners were:

1st Place Copper Canyon

2nd Place Horizon High School

3rd Place Shadow Mountain High School.

Third place very close, with Shadow Mountain High School beating out the fourth place team by just one runner.

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More than Just Running

In addition to the 5k run and walk, several other fitness experts and staff were on hand to help.

1. District benefit vendors on hand to support the event and answer any benefit questions.

2. Website set up to assist teams with healthy ideas for training by VS: http://wellstyles.org/PVUSD5K2013.html

3. Wellness Champions (who are district staff) volunteered for each site/department to assist the wellness committee with organizing and encouraging team participation.

4. PVUSD has had an active wellness committee comprised of school nurses, Benefits Supervisor, Carol Priborsky and Valley Schools Director of Business Development Sheri Gilbert for four years.

 List of Sponsors PVUSD 3rd Annual 5K

 1. Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD)

2. Valley Schools Employee Benefits Trust (VSEBT) – Event organization, support and administration

3. United HealthCare – Water Donation

4. BASIC (district’s FMLA, COBRA & FSA provider) monetary donation toward t-shirts

5. Ellie Brockhurst & Associates (short term disability provider) monetary donation toward t-shirts

6. VSP – donation towards snacks & water

7. Delta Dental – donation towards first aid supplies and snacks

8. SunLife Financial – donation towards supplies and snacks

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Paradise Valley Unified School District Saves nearly $650,000 per year in Employee Benefits Fixed Costs!

Paradise Valley Unified School District Saves nearly $650,000 per year in Employee Benefits Fixed Costs!

At a presentation on November 1, 2012 at the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) made by the Valley Schools Management Group (VSMG), it was shown that PVUSD is saving nearly $650,000 per year in employee benefit fixed costs alone through its membership in a group purchasing trust.  By group purchasing, fixed costs are reduced dramatically.  PVUSD is also self-insured, which means it only pays for the actual cost of paid medical claims, it does not pay any carrier or organization any extra profits, add-ons, or “wiggle room” pricing on its claims.  This saves them even more money, as the medical claims are about 90% of the expenditures, while the fixed costs are only 10%.  Kudos to the administration and Governing Board of PVUSD for their outstanding decision to save dollars on benefits in order to keep precious resources for teachers, staff and dollars in the classroom!

Here is an attachment of the power point presentation:

PVUSD presentation 11-1-12 – FINAL

The PVUSD Governing Board Members:

Governing Board Members
Sue Skidmore Dr. Sue M. Skidmore, Governing Board president 
Sue Skidmore earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Mount Union College and a Master’s degree from Youngstown State University.  She also holds a doctorate in educational leadership from Arizona State University.  Dr. Skidmore has been a public school teacher, high school principal, and school district superintendent and has taught at the university level.  Additionally, she is the founder of a Web-based company that specializes in enhancing grammatical and writing skills and has co-authored three English reference books.  She has been actively involved in the district’s United Parent Council, serving two years as its co-president.  Dr. Skidmore is in her third term on the Governing Board and has served three years as Board president.  She has two daughters who are graduates of PV schools.  Her term expires in December 2012.

governingboard@pvschools.net


Julia Bacon Mrs. Julie BaconGoverning Board member 
Julie Bacon earned a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University (Shippensburg PA) and a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond VA) in social work.  She and her husband have a steadfast commitment to education in raising their two children, one who graduated from, and one currently attending, a Paradise Valley Unified School District school.  Mrs. Bacon served as president of the United Parent Council and has actively volunteered in the district for more than a decade in many different leadership capacities.  She is currently a member of the district’s Community Legislative Network.  As the daughter of two public school teachers and first generation college graduates, education is a top priority in her family. Her term will run through December 2014.governingboard@pvschools.net

Nancy Case Mrs. Nancy Case, Governing Board member 
Nancy Case received a Bachelor of Science degree in Retailing from Brigham Young University in 1978. She and her husband, Art Case, are the parents of seven children, ages 6 to 26. All of their children have either graduated from or are currently attending Paradise Valley schools. Mrs. Case has enjoyed volunteering in her children’s schools. She has also tutored many students and taught reading classes in her home. She loves to teach. Her term will run through December 2012.

governingboard@pvschools.net


Anne Greenberg Mrs. Anne Greenberg, Governing Board member 
Anne Greenberg earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University.  She is co-owner and executive vice president of Health & Medical Multimedia, as well as the editor of two publications for the American College of Cardiology. The webmaster for the United Parent Council, Mrs. Greenberg is a member of the district’s Community Legislative Network and has served on numerous district and school committees. She also is a member of the state board of the Arizona Academic Decathlon Association and of the Legislative Committee and Arizona Relations Network for the Arizona School Boards Association, which honored Mrs. Greenberg with an All-Arizona School Board award in 2011. Mrs. Greenberg and her husband, Rick McGuire, have two sons, one who graduated from and one who currently attends Paradise Valley schools. Her term will run through December 2012.

governingboard@pvschools.net


Mark Lane Mr. Mark Lane, Governing Board member 
Mark Lane owns a photography business, and studied business administration and accounting at Phoenix College, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. He and his wife, Debbie, have a daughter who attends a Paradise Valley school and two daughters who graduated from NAU and ASU. Lane is a Shadow Mountain High School alumnus and has been an active volunteer in the district and community through school council, United Parent Council and Little League. His term will run through December 2014.

governingboard@pvschools.net


Governing Board Secretary
Terri Calascibetta
Superintendent’s Office
602-449-2298
602-449-2292 Fax

 e-mail Governing Board