Friends, family and colleagues gathered June 19 to honor Shari Styskal, the Lincoln Public Schools budget director who is retiring this week after 42 years with the school district.
Styskal typically avoids public speaking, letting her tireless service to LPS do the talking. But on this occasion, she asked for the microphone.
“It’s wonderful to see you all - the people I have worked with through the years,” Styskal told the crowd inside the Board Room at LPS district office. “My life is richer for knowing you.”
Styskal has worked with the LPS budget for 28 years, first as budget coordinator and then as director. Before that, she worked for 11 years at Custodial Services, Maintenance and Facilities. She began her LPS career at Lincoln Northeast High School.
“Shari has dedicated an amazing amount of her life to Lincoln Public Schools,” said Liz Standish, associate superintendent for business affairs. “There’s no one out there who cares more deeply about getting everything right - about serving taxpayers, about serving students.”
Associate Superintendent for Instruction Jane Stavem compared Styskal’s budget work to another of her passions, quilting. It requires a precise personality, someone who can piece things together, spot patterns and work patiently over a long period of time.
“Shari, we thank you for the tapestry and the quilt that your service to LPS has been,” Stavem said.
Styskal also started and organized the BackPack Extra Mile Walk for 10 years. The annual event raises money for the Food Bank of Lincoln’s generous BackPack initiative, which provides a weekly Friday backpack filled with food for students who may not have enough to eat over the weekend. The event raised more than $1.5 million during Styskal’s time as organizer.
As for her work at LPS, Styskal said she will miss the challenge of working with an annual budget that now tops $443 million.
“But I will miss the people I work with the most."
Published: June 27, 2018, Updated: June 28, 2018