Maine DOE Team member Paula Gravelle is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Paula in the brief question and answer below.
What are your roles with DOE?
I am the School Finance Manager on the School Finance and Operations Team. My role is primarily to facilitate the calculation of the Essential Programs and Services (EPS) School Funding model, which determines how much State funding each of the 266 School Administrative Units (SAUs) in Maine will receive each year. I am also tasked with processing the monthly payments for subsidy and construction aid for SAUs and Centers for Technology Education (CTEs), managing the DOE Vendor Codes for SAUs, assisting SAUs with school closures, withdrawals, school board apportionment, and assisting with the Education Service Centers and other efficiency initiatives.
What do you like best about your job?
I may be biased, but I believe I work on the best team at the DOE. School finance may seem boring to some, and we do take our jobs very seriously; after all, we are calculating over 2 billion dollars of State and local resources; but we also have fun and support each other every day. The best part of my job is being part of a dedicated, caring and supportive team within the DOE.
How or why did you decide on this career?
I believe God was grooming me for this career before I even knew it existed. I began working at the University of Southern Maine shortly after graduating from there with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and a Minor in Business Administration. I worked for USM for 15 years, the last 8 of those years was with Dr. David Silvernail at the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation (CEPARE), during the research and creation phase of the EPS funding formula. During this time, I was living in West Gardiner and traveling to Gorham every day; which got to be too much of a commute for me, so I started looking for something closer to home. After a brief time as the human resource manager for a small company in Augusta, I applied for the job here at the department. I was already familiar with the EPS funding formula from the work I had done at CEPARE, and I had worked with some of the people at the department during that time as well; so it seemed like a perfect fit. I have been in this position for over 9 years now, and I joke that it took me 6 years to finally understand the EPS formula; but honestly, I love my job, even if it can drive me crazy at times. And, I want to do it to the best of my ability, because I know it directly impacts tax payers, which includes me.
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
I care for my disabled mom, and share a home with her, two of my nephews, and my brother; which makes for a very busy home life. I am very involved with my church where I have been a member for over 16 years. I teach Sunday school to an amazing group of young ladies, I assist in the nursery, and they allow me to sing in the choir and ladies ensemble, although sometimes my alto voice sounds more like a bass. I am a big Patriots football fan, and enjoy watching games with friends when time allows.