Award Winner Spotlight: Scott Cohen, The Madeira School

Cohen streamlined business office practices and strengthened financial governance at The Madeira School.

Apr 23, 2021

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: Comptroller
School: The Madeira School, McLean, Virginia
Years in Position: 2
Years in an independent school business office: 24

Pioneering process: “In just two years, Scott has improved, refined, or completely changed many of our internal processes,” wrote chief financial officer Alex Heiberger. To name a few achievements, Cohen has updated and collated all business office practices into a single manual, and provided accurate and timely reports for a myriad of scenario-based projections required by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The results are a happier and more productive business office, improved relations with our development office, and better consistency and compliance with best business practices among our managers and directors.”

‘Competence exemplified’: "Scott is competence exemplified. His approach to his work, whether done independently or collaboratively, is accurate, timely, and responsive to the task at hand. His personal knowledge of accounting and sound business practice is incredibly impressive, and he brings them to Madeira in a way that allows others to learn and grow in their roles."

Always present: “To complement his depth of experience and knowledge, Scott is also open and flexible to new ideas and … equally present and supportive to everyone he encounters, whether they are a trustee, the head of school, a business partner, a faculty member or a student. His approach and demeanor is calm, supportive, and always with an eye towards improvement.”

Trusted partner: “Perhaps most important, Scott is the partner and confidant I need to be an effective business officer. As the Chief Financial Officer of Madeira, I could not accomplish all of the broad range of issues that the modern-day independent school business officer needs to address during any given period of time without the trustworthy, stable, and quality job done by Scott Cohen.”

Madeira Chief Financial Officer Alex Heiberger (left) presents the inaugural NBOA Professional Achievement Award to Scott Cohen (center). 

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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