Scott Laird and Charlene Aberg both started working for the Cut Bank Schools within a few weeks of each other. Now, after working side-by-side for almost 30 years, they are both set to retire at the end of this school year.
Scott and Charlene are retiring from positions they have held since 1991. Scott is the Business Manager for the district as well as the High School Activities Director. He is also the Clerk of the Board and was an assistant boy’s basketball coach and head golf coach for a number of years.
Charlene is the Assistant Clerk and the Adult Education Coordinator. She was also the Middle School Co-Athletic Director with Jim Gregg for four years.
“I have been in the Cut Bank School system for 29 years,” Charlene said. “It sure doesn’t seem like it has been that long. Time flies when you love what you do.”
Before becoming the Business Manager for the school, Scott worked for the Boeing Corporation in Seattle. “This job at the school came open when I was home for Christmas in 1990 and I came up from Chester for an interview on the Friday of the wrestling tournament,” Scott recalled. He was hired and started the New Year in a new job.
Scott is responsible for calculating and overseeing the district’s budgets, monthly payroll and claims. He also balances the district’s funds monthly with the bank, does all the state, federal and quarterly reporting and takes care of the Medicaid administrative claims.
Charlene takes care of accounts payable, purchasing and payroll and handles the student activities funds for the district.
“I have always loved accounting, working with numbers and helping others transition into their new job. There is so much paperwork to complete for a ‘new’ employee and with the help of my co-workers, we want them to feel like they can ask any question and get as much help as needed to make their job easier,” Charlene shared.
Both admit the jobs they hold are much easier and much better thanks to the people they see every day. That is what they are going to miss the most when they start retirement.
“I love the people I work with here. I will miss the people I see every day and being around the students,” Scott shared.
“I will so miss the people I work with and have worked with in the past. I have had, and have, an amazing administration, board members and employees to work with each and every day. My co-workers make coming to work a pleasure and I am so blessed to have worked with my boss for 29 years. Thank you, Scott for the journey,” Charlene said.
During his time in the Cut Bank School system, Scott was also a coach for both boys basketball and golf. “Being able to coach during my time here has been an incredible experience and I am thankful to the school for allowing me to do it.”
Scott continued, “I’m proud of the success we’ve had and thankful for the players I coached. The winning was great, but the friendships I have cultivated with the people I’ve coached with and the players will last a lifetime. It is a great feeling when a player comes back years later to visit and laugh about some of the things we did,” Scott said.
Charlene and Scott worked for just three superintendents during the almost three decades they spent at the school. Both agreed it was great to have had little turn over in that position, making their jobs easier.
The last day for both Scott and Charlene will be June 30. Cut Bank Schools hopes to have their replacements hired before the twosome leave.
Scott plans on moving “to the Billings area and I am not sure what I will be doing yet, hopefully working on my golf game a lot and seeing more of my granddaughters. Cut Bank has been very good to me and my family. It has given me lifelong friends and some amazing experiences.”
Charlene’s plans are still being finalized, but she is planning a move as well, with many return trips home to Cut Bank to see “those sweet grandbabies of mine,” she said. “I would like to head a little farther south to get out of the ‘below zero’ weather in the winter. This would give me a chance to ride my horses year-round. Also, my husband travels a lot so now I will get to travel a little more with him.”
Charlene has been in Cut Bank since 1982. “It has been a great place to raise my two children and this school was an exceptional place for them to achieve their education.”
Scott’s three daughters were raised in Cut Bank and went to school here as well. “Cut Bank has been a great place to raise a family. In a small town, you know most everyone and you have a connection with them. We all want what is best for the students both in and out of the classroom,” he added.
The sequence of events in life are work, then retirement. And while we appreciate those who put in their years of service working, it is a given they will be missed once they opt for retirement. Scott and Charlene will definitely be missed.