Desmond has worked in multiple capacities across the education space. He is deeply familiar with the challenges faced by K-12 administrators and teachers. After a district purchases Allovue's tools, Desmond helps get everyone on the same page to ensure successful change outcomes.
What were you doing before Allovue?
I’ve worked in education for a long time. In D.C., I served as an after-school STEM director—I ran a program to get young folks interested in biological and chemical science, math, and engineering. In Brooklyn, I served as the Dean of Culture at a charter school where I led an after-school literacy program, served as the flag football coach, and developed socio-emotional learning opportunities for students.
When I was a football coach, I had two or three guys on the team who were becoming young fathers. This experience led me to create Doula for Dad, a program to help prepare young men to be new fathers and supportive partners. I loved the mentoring aspect and also learned a lot about starting, incorporating, and directing a business. We worked with public and charter schools in NYC, so I got to interact with the Department of Education, which taught me a lot about district operations and budget offices.
What’s your role at Allovue?
I'm the Product Adoption Lead, which means I focus on the successful and sustainable implementation of our software. Adopting any new tool or process involves buy-in from many different people across an organization. I I do that by implementing change management strategies for our customers. I bring together key district leaders to help them gain a deep understanding of how our tools work, what needs they will address, and what benefits they'll bring to the district—not just for budgeting, but also for streamlining workflows, simplifying purchasing and expense tracking, and improving efficiency.
A key component of the Change Management work I do is the development of a personalized Strategy Guide to bring in an initial group of users ("early adopters"). The Strategy Guide maps out a timeline for expanding access to these employees (other finance officers, central office leaders, principals) and highlights the tangible ways Allovue will make their jobs easier, all while supporting district goals.
Once school districts have fully implemented our tools—all users have training, understanding, and access—my team provides ongoing support. We hold regular check-in meetings to advise on best practices, discuss goal progress, and help them maximize Allovue’s utility if their financial practices have evolved.
What skills serve you best in this role?
In Product Adoption, you have to be flexible. You have to be able to change to fit the customer, but you also have to have a structure in place that allows you to have some guidelines for how you proceed. That is a strong suit of mine.
How do you see Allovue’s impact?
There’s a direct correlation between financial operations and student success. When a district focuses on tying priorities to spending, to allocating and distributing funds in a thoughtful way (not just dotting i's and crossing t's), it translates to student growth and achievement. With Allovue, we're able to say, “Here is a clear picture of all of your dollars.” It's been amazing to see how districts will adjust and correct course so that every dollar can work for every student.
What do you like outside of work?
I have a deep love for tabletop games! They bring people together and initiate intimate and creative opportunities to learn how others think. Games I’m currently enjoying are Escape the Dark Castle and Cinephile.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Allovue works with districts and state departments of education across the country to allocate, budget, and manage spending. Allovue's software suite integrates seamlessly with existing accounting systems to make sure every dollar works for every student. Allovue also provides additional services such as chart of accounts and funding formula revisions.