Robin Bentley stepped down as the Assistant Head for Finance and Operations this spring; fortunately for us, she will continue to work with the school on special projects, including the completion of the New Upper School Building and the renovation of Gracemont. Robin began her illustrious career at The Bush School in 2000 as the Director of Finance and Operations. During her years at Bush, Robin modernized the school’s bookkeeping, budgeting process, and accounting procedures. She professionalized the maintenance and upkeep of the campus and facilities; brought industry standards to Human Resources policies and practices at the school; and created a financial model for the school’s business operations, strategic planning, and implementation. She worked to develop accountability and standardization to reduce programmatic and financial risk, supported the school’s sustainability goals, and brought the highest standards of execution to everything she touched. In 2014 Robin became the Assistant Head for Finance and Operations in recognition of the work she had accomplished at the school.
Robin has been critical to the success of two major construction projects at Bush: the Lower School campus and the New Upper School Building. She contributed expertise in planning, construction, and budgeting, and she acted as the liaison to architects, engineers, and project managers. She skillfully and tactfully managed neighbor relations during these projects in addition to ensuring that the school received the funds necessary to complete the projects and assisting in securing bond financing for both projects. It should be noted that the Lower School project was completed on time and under budget, and it appears that the New Upper School Building will, too.
Robin’s career at Bush has spanned the terms of eleven Board Presidents and ten Board Treasurers. For twenty-two years, she has expertly managed the school’s budgeting process with the Board, ensuring that the school’s financial position will be secure well into the future. Robin holds the respect of the most fiscally prudent members of the school community, and every accounting firm with whom the school worked marvels at the thoroughness and accuracy of her preparation for audits. Over time, she has served as the staff liaison to multiple Board Committees, including the Board’s Finance/Finance & Audit/Resource Management & Audit Committee Phase II (construction oversight for the Lower School buildings), Phase 2 Finance Plan Oversight Committee, Strategic Planning Steering Committee (2005-07), Financial Asset Investment Sub-Committee/Investment Sub-Committee/Investment Committee, MLK Committee, Compensation Task Force (2009-10), Financial Aid Task Force (2011-12), Campus Master Planning Task Force/Education Master Planning Task Force, and Vet the Debt/Financing Task Force. In addition, Robin also served as the staff liaison for a number of faculty and staff committees, including, among others, the Risk Management, Personnel, Faculty Compensation, and Calendar Committees. She worked tirelessly to carry out her responsibilities and to support the Board, the Heads of School, and the rest of the faculty and staff.
Robin has also served under two Heads of School during her time at Bush. Former Head of School Frank Magusin shared, “Under Robin’s watch, I never had to worry about school finance or business operations. Robin handled crises and major projects with skill and expertise. This and her day-to-day attention, effort, and accomplishments made her an extraordinary partner. She was playful and fun, and at the same time she took very seriously her role of protecting and guiding the financial operation of the school.” Current Head of School Percy L. Abram commented, “Quite plainly, The Bush School would not exist in its current form, or garner national recognition, were it not for Robin Bentley. Our strong fiscal position, beautiful and safe physical campus, astute policies, and strategic planning are a direct result of Robin’s acumen and assiduity. She is a pleasure to work with, and I consider it an honor to have spent these past eight years by her side, learning from her daily. Her contributions to The Bush School are indelible and enduring. And somehow, she still manages to walk 10,000 steps a day. She’s a wonder.” Robin is a respected and admired professional in her field regionally, and she has also contributed to national organizations, including the National Association of Business Officers (NBOA) and Independent School Data Exchange (INDEX).
Robin has been a backbone of the administration at Bush for more than twenty years, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the school’s financial stability, viability, and long-term success. WWhile we will miss seeing Robin daily, we are excited that she will continue to work with the school on special projects in the future. We invite everyone to join us in celebrating Robin’s amazing career and her myriad contributions to The Bush School at a reception this spring.
Mark Roberts left Bush on June 30, 2022. Mark began working at The Bush School in August 2005 as a Lead Maintenance Worker. A year later, Mark’s position title was revised to Maintenance Lead, which he held until June 2011. In July 2011 Mark’s position title was again revised to Maintenance Lead Technician, which remained his title through June 2021. In July 2021, Mark’s title was revised to Electrical Lead Technician, which is the role he currently holds. Throughout his time at Bush, Mark has been instrumental on a host of campus projects, including installing and completing several lighting retrofits throughout the campus as well as installing, repairing, and painting drywall from nicks to larger renovation projects. In addition, Mark is certified as an 07 licensed electrician, and the school is forever thankful for his expertise and the skills he has shared with our community throughout his time at Bush. Mark is a core member of The Bush School’s Facilities Department and has demonstrated a genuine commitment to the Facilities Department and the Bush community as a whole, whether that be by supporting the day-to-day needs on the campus, coordinating an electrical project, assisting with school traffic needs, or collaborating with the Facilities team and outside vendors. It is all very much appreciated. Mark’s sense of humor, expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to Bush will be greatly missed. We wish him all the best.
Ken Longfellow retired at the end of the school year. Ken began working at The Bush School in October 2007 as the Facilities Manager. In May 2008 Ken moved into the role of Interim Facilities Director and subsequently transitioned to serve as the Director of Facilities in June 2008. He has been working as the school’s Director of Facilities ever since. Ken is a core member of the Bush community. Throughout his time at Bush, he has been organized and proactive with school buildings, maintenance, and event and transportation needs. In addition, Ken has provided invaluable guidance and consultation on many school building projects, including the New Upper School Building, as well as other building projects and multiple classroom and office remodels (too numerous to name). Ken has also been instrumental with the health and safety needs of our community during the COVID pandemic, including the research and installation of ionization systems throughout the campus. Ken’s studied approach to projects, as well as his creative ideas, plans to carefully execute them, and his ongoing commitment to the Bush community will be missed. Ken has offered to continue on in a consultative role through the completion of the Gracemont building. I know his insight and experience will be extremely valuable. We wish him all the best in his retirement.
Sara Carter ’90 left Bush at the end of the school year to pursue new professional growth opportunities. Sara began working at The Bush School in 2004 and has held a number of critical roles during her time at Bush, working in support of students and the Bush community. She began her employment at Bush as a temporary Upper School Counselor but shifted her focus to work as an Upper School Learning Coordinator. In addition to being a member of the Support Services team, Sara also taught Upper School French I from fall 2009 through spring 2012, co-led Upper School AMPs, spent time as the Middle School Admissions Liaison, served on the OmbudsTeam and the Senior Projects Committee, and most recently was a member of the US Admissions committee. In the fall of 2015, Sara added the leadership role of Assistant Upper School Director, and during the 2016-2017 year she focused solely on the Assistant Upper School Director role. At the close of that year, Sara was credited with streamlining policies and procedures, supporting faculty and staff by providing detailed information through the coordination of comments and grade reports, and working tirelessly to advocate for students with health matters, including co-writing the school’s concussion protocols with the Athletic Department. While Sara has a natural gift as an administrator, she returned to her direct work with students and families in the Upper School Learning Support Office in the fall of 2017, and she has continued with this work as an Upper School Learning Specialist ever since. In recent years, Sara has also served as the Support Services Department Chair. We greatly appreciate Sara’s dedication to centering students, and we will miss her compassion and expertise. While Sara will be moving on from Bush professionally, we are thankful she will continue to remain connected to Bush as an alumna and as a parent of one alumna and one soon-to-be Bush alumnus (Abigail ’19 and Oliver ’22). We wish her all the very best.