In our school, the administration is essentially and fundamentally a service in support of students, teachers and parents. The core outcome of all the administrative activity and planning has to be the best possible safety, wellbeing and educational experience for our students. We also have to communicate exceptionally well, sustain the trust and faith of our parents and be efficient and effective every day.
Our school administrative team is relatively small. We have three people in the Admissions, Marketing and Communications team, two people in the Reception/Main Office, a Site Manager, an IT Technician and a Business Manager. As Headmaster, my role requires me to be ultimately responsible and accountable for the educational, administrative and strategic outcomes of the school.
This time last year, we saw the departure of two key players, who had been very influential contributors at the school for some time: the Director of Admissions and Marketing, Lisa van Horne, and the Business Manager, Judi Martins. In June, after a diligent search, we were very fortunate to appoint Anique Seldon as Director of Admissions and Marketing. Anique is now very settled and leads a fantastic team which includes Tricia Malone (Assistant Director of Admissions) and Danielle Gagnon (Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications).
For the Business Office, we were just as fortunate to hire immediately in December 2014 - but in a temporary capacity - Florence Craig. Florence has now been with us the whole year, having held the Business Office function very well with her uniquely cheerful and accommodating style. Bringing her particular experience and expertise (from her roles as Asset Management Analyst at the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency and as Comptroller at Roxbury Community College) to bear, she has not only given stability to the business aspects of the school but brought in new perspectives and created an excellent relationship with everyone in the school team.
Throughout this term, Florence and Anique, as senior leaders, have both helped to create a new platform from which the school can build a different and better kind of organizational, administrative and financial structure. This will incorporate the dimensions of admissions, marketing, communication, finance and school management and administration into a cohesive system. In January, and with fresh ideas in mind, I will be working with the senior leadership team to undertake a complete review of our administrative functions and roles with a view to establishing greater effectiveness and efficiency across the school. The strategic dimension is a critical area for further development and of vital importance to the future growth of our school.
Given her contribution and time spent with us, I am very sad to announce the departure of Florence Craig as Interim Business Manager at the end of this week. She has been a tireless, supportive and good humored professional companion this year. However, I am very pleased to welcome Susan Burke onto the team as the permanent Business Manager. Susan started with us last Monday and she and Florence are working together in a transitionary two-week period until Friday 18th December.
Once again, we are extremely fortunate to acquire a Business Manager with Susan’s professional experience, qualities and caliber. A global operations director in financial services for over 18 years, Susan worked for Fidelity International in Taipei, Taiwan and SEI Investments in Dublin, Ireland. Through her experience in financial services, she had extensive focus on strategic development for offshore start-ups and turnarounds across business lines and shared services.
Susan has significant experience in defining and implementing process improvement and change management in both US and international contexts. Susan graduated Cum Laude from Saint Michael’s College with BA in Business Administration, and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.S.T. from Suffolk University. On returning to Boston, she became Vice President - Strategic Consultant, Global Product Services - Performance and Analytics for State Street Corporation. Before joining BISB last week, Susan has been managing her own consultancy, advising companies in the areas of strategic planning, change management, project management, training and development, operations, financial accounting and customer service.
Susan comes with very powerful references and we look forward to her bringing her special qualities and expertise to our school as we seek to develop further the administrative and strategic dimensions of our school.
I would like to sincerely thank Florence for her excellent services to our school this year and wish her well for the future. I would like to give a warm welcome to Susan. I wish them both all success and happiness in their new ventures.
I hope you enjoyed reading something about an area of our school that usually receives little public attention. I hope, as we work on our administrative development plan, you will begin to feel as parent, friend and client the positive effects of change!
Meanwhile, as I think about exciting improvements ahead, I wish you all a very happy vacation!