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Advancing Financial Leadership

By Jeffrey Shields posted 08-18-2020 11:14 AM

  

CEO Notebook |

Now more than ever, the business officer is called to contribute an incisive voice and financial strategy to their school’s leadership team.

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Jeffrey Shields, FASAE, CAE
NBOA President and CEO

At the 2020 NBOA Annual Meeting in Orlando — in the days before COVID-19 vastly changed the way we live and work — I announced the launch of an exciting new program: The NBOA Leadership Academy. This one-year leadership development program was specifically designed for independent school business office professionals seeking to strengthen the skills and organizational perspectives that are necessary to advance as an independent school business leader. Managing accounting, tax, human resources and other business office responsibilities remains foundational to our schools. However, during these particularly uncertain times, our schools also need the best leadership they can get from every member of the senior administration team to achieve financial health, secure their place within the market, and deliver their mission to students and families in perpetuity.

During these particularly uncertain times, our schools need the best leadership they can get from every member of the senior administration team to achieve financial health, secure their place within the market, and deliver their mission to students and families in perpetuity.

Therefore, vastly different from NBOA’s other financial, technical and regulatory compliance-oriented programming, the inaugural NBOA Leadership Academy in 2020-21 will provide a unique opportunity for a small cohort of colleagues to focus on the skills critical to leading our schools strategically, collaboratively and financially responsibly into the future. Through interaction with independent school thought leaders and mentorship from seasoned chief business officers and recognized industry leaders — including the faculty at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development — participants will enhance their understanding of the complex roles and responsibilities of school leadership. They will also gain strategies for building relationships throughout their independent school communities while developing a leadership profile and personal plan of action to elevate their impact.

It brings me great pleasure to announce the inaugural class of participants, who will begin their Academy experience this week:

Geoffrey Bennett, Director of Finance and Operations, San Francisco Waldorf School (CA)
Hajnalka Coon, Controller, Millbrook School (NY)
Thomas Gorman, Chief Operating Officer, Westover School (CT)
John Harrington, Chief Financial Officer, Pingree School (MA)
Kareen Laplanche, Finance Manager, The American School of Kinshasa (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Meg Miller, Data and Strategy Analyst, Roland Park Country School (MD)
Matt Moore, Associate Head of School, Operations, Christ Presbyterian Academy (TN)
Jesse Morrell, Controller, Metairie Park Country Day School (LA)
Teddy O'Rourke, Director of Campus Services, Ethical Culture Fieldston School (NY)
Andrew Phelps, Director of Business Operations, Battle Ground Academy (TN)
Beth Pollard, Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations, Darlington School (GA)
Mara Ramirez, Financial Analyst/Comptroller, The Baldwin School of Puerto Rico (Bayamón, Puerto Rico)
Tonya Rayment, Chief Financial Officer, Rectory School (CT)
Sherman Roberts, Director of Analytics and Operations, St. Paul's School (NH)
Stephen Valentine, Sr. Director, Financial Management, Milton Hershey School (PA)
Melisa Waters, Controller, The Bolles School (FL)

The above individuals will be supported by four esteemed and celebrated business officers serving as mentors to the program:

Frank Aloise, Chief Financial Officer, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (PA)
2017 Recipient of the NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award and Past NBOA Board Chair, 2013-2015

Tracey Fudge, Director of Finance and Operations, Holton-Arms School (MD)
Past NBOA Board Chair, 2017-2019

Valerie Hughes, Associate Head of School for Finance and Administration, Hathaway Brown School (OH)
2020 Recipient of the NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award

Cindy Stadulis, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School (TX)
2008 Recipient of the NBOA Ken White Distinguished Business Officer Award

Learning sessions include:

  • The Evolution of the Business Officer and Key School Partnerships for Success
  • Fostering Resilient Communities with Emotional Intelligence
  • Judgment and Decision-Making via Scenario Forecasting
  • Inter-cultural Competence and Diversity Awareness in Independent Schools
  • Developing Trust and Communicating Financials Effectively to Non-Financial Colleagues and Constituents.

Patrick Schuermann, Ed.D., faculty and program director of the Independent School Leadership Program at Vanderbilt, will join me as lead faculty of the program. My NBOA staff colleagues James Palmieri, executive vice president, and Jennifer Hillen, chief learning officer, will co-direct the program.

Plans for the next iteration of the NBOA Leadership Academy will be announced this winter. While this year’s offering is entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy was originally conceived to include two in-person components, which will resume when circumstances allow. If you have interest in the 2021-22 program, please email James Palmieri, NBOA's executive vice president, at james.palmieri@nboa.org

We commend the participating professionals and their supportive school leadership, including heads of school and business officers, for committing to this new and valuable professional development opportunity. And we look forward to getting started with this impressive group of independent school leaders!

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Follow NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields @shieldsNBOA.
From Net Assets NOW, August 18, 2020. Read past issues of CEO Notebook.

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