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Award Winner Spotlight: Sue Pacini, Ruffing Montessori School

By Net Assets posted 18 days ago


Leadership |

Throughout her 35-year career, Pacini has strived to create best-in-class financial policies and practices at her school.

The NBOA Professional Achievement Award recognizes the invaluable contributions made by independent school business, finance and operations staff who are not business officers. These staff members distinguish themselves every day and make exceptional contributions to their schools and the independent school community. The highlights below come straight from their colleagues' nominations. 

See a full list of the inaugural recipients. Stay tuned to for additional profiles.

Title: Business Administrator
SchoolRuffing Montessori School, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Years in position: 35
Years in an independent school business office: 35

Wealth of institutional knowledge: Pacini’s responsibilities and professional contributions have grown exponentially since she was hired in 1985 as secretary/purchasing agent, and her 35 years of knowledge are impossible to replicate. “Prior to expanding the administrative team to keep pace with the growth of the school, she wore all the hats that go with business operations management,” said Debra Mitchell, director of finance and operations. “She was instrumental in establishing financial policies and practices early in her career that helped shape the good reputation and financial stability enjoyed by Ruffing today.”

Voracious learner. Pacini constantly reads business publications and researches topics related to independent school business matters, which keeps her on top of this fast-changing field. “She does not shy away from professional development opportunities and frequently participates in webinars and online training on topics ranging from changing regulatory climate and reporting requirements, to learning how to set up and navigate the latest school accounting system,” said Mitchell.

Resilient: Pacini is tenacious and thrives on a good challenge, says Mitchell. “She has worked under six heads of school, navigated transitions to no fewer than four school database systems and seven accounting systems, changed job titles and took on more responsibilities as often as the school needed, and she's still standing strong."

See a full list of the 2020 recipients and read more about the NBOA Professional Achievement Award. Net Assets will post additional profiles of award winners throughout the spring — check in to learn more about other recipients.


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