Come Join the Band!

One of the highlights of the annual ISANNE Business Officers conference earlier this month was a memorable performance by the Heronfield band. Not only were they amazingly talented, but the concert served to ground the conference in what is truly important: supporting young people as they grow and learn. For a group of business office professionals more familiar with spreadsheets and dark offices than lesson plans and dynamic classrooms, we appreciated the opportunity to watch the kids perform.

Like any band, our schools bring together a variety of talents and functions to build a program anchored in our mission and shared values. And the more we can understand one another, listen to each other, and work together collaboratively, the better the results now and into the future. This was a theme that came up over and over again in our conversations at our conference, as we shared strategies to break down departmental silos, laying the groundwork for better strategic decisions by promoting better understanding.

In pursuit of this goal, the ISANNE business officers group will be piloting a one-day workshop this February entitled "Independent School Finance 101". The purpose of the workshop is to provide program leaders with a basic introduction and overview of independent school finance, using real-world examples and group problem solving exercises to apply these concepts. We encourage everyone to come and learn, and to give us feedback in order to build on and improve this pilot program.

While our schools are guided and informed by mission and program, what we can do now and into the future is ultimately enabled by finances. And like any great band, the success of our work will ultimately be dependent on how well we listen to and understand one another.

About The Author

Steve Solberg

Assistant Head of School & CFO, Cardigan Mountain School

Steve is the Assistant Head of School and CFO at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire. Steve was most recently at Holderness School, where he served as the school's Director of Technology, Director of Communications, and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, Steve worked in Silicon Valley as a computer programmer and at Eaglebrook School as a member of the faculty. In his free time, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, reading, and hiking.