Alabama School District Leverages Cooperative for Cost Savings & Spend Relief Funds – US City & County

About 25 miles north of Montgomery, Alabama, the Elmore County Public School District serves approximately 11,000 K-12 students. Ensuring that “every student is empowered and every student succeeds,” Elmore County teachers and administrators are dedicated to the education, growth, and potential of every child who walks through their doors.

School system procurement teams across the country know that equipping their schools with innovative teaching supplies and health and safety items is essential to maximizing the learning experience for students. Although they are not in the classroom with the children, Federal Programs Director Celeste Tilley and Federal Programs Accounting Specialist Cecile Sanford spend each day making sure county students and teachers of Elmore have all the school supplies they need, when they need them. collaboration with their cooperative purchasing organization, OMNIA Partners.


Shopping for 15 schools with a variety of needs isn’t an easy task, but adding more money than you’re used to dealing with, and it gets a little more overwhelming. Elmore County received Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding and needed help sourcing and coordinating a large number of orders for its schools.

With an urgent need for high-demand school supplies quickly as well as better communication and supplier support, education purchasing managers turned to OMNIA Partners’ supplier, Penne, for classroom solutions, cleaning and PPE supplies to enhance the learning and teaching experience. By working with Quill and OMNIA Partners, Celeste and Cecile were able to maximize their expenses and use their ESSER funds quickly and efficiently.

Why would I want to go through this bidding process if someone else has already done it? Just the advertising process and requirements and the time it takes and all that. The fact that OMNIA Partners exists to do this process. Doing this for public entities is a game-changer for us. This eliminates a huge amount of work. This simplifies the process. Then we have the vendor reps we work with who have all been very helpful. » – Celeste Tilley, Director of Federal Programs, Elmore County School District

We would almost need to have another person hired to do this part if we weren’t outside of a co-op. Because it takes so long. – Cecile Sanford, Federal Program Accounting Specialist, Elmore County School District


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