George Stevens Academy, a town academy founded in Blue Hill in 1852, provides a high school education for approximately 303 students from seven sending towns on the Blue Hill Peninsula and, since 2006, many international residential students. The Academy offers an exceptional academic and extracurricular program that provides the skills required for advanced education, career training and personal growth necessary for future success and fulfilling lives.
At year-end 2020, the Academy accepted, with great reluctance the retirement of our Director of the Business Office of 28 years. He had managed, single-handedly, the accounting, human resources, budgeting and facilities operations with remarkable skill and exceptional dedication. As the Academy began the search for a new Director, we were very fortunate to engage Rachel Grivois, Accounting Services of Maine, LLC, to serve as our interim accounting, budgeting and audit officer.
Rachel joined our team at a very critical moment. With her accounting experience and leadership skills the Academy was able to undertake a major revision of its accounting system to enhance the financial information required to manage the school more effectively. Under Rachel’s leadership, the chart of accounts was rewritten to provide more detail and better organizational structure by program and department classifications. The Quick Books accounting software was adopted to replace the antiquated system that had been in place for many years and the payroll system was transferred to a new more efficient provider. These changes improved the accounting, budgeting, and auditing functions immeasurably. The annual audit was finished within the Academy’s short timeline and resulted in no adjustments or findings.
But most important for our GSA Success Story are the personal relationships that have developed. Rachel has become a very important extension of the GSA senior staff. She assisted the Head of School in the 2022 budgeting process, provided Quick Books training for our new accountant in the Business Office and guided our newly hired Director of the Business Office into his new broad range of responsibilities. Rachel continues to provide oversite for the accuracy of the financial information and serves as a member of the Finance Committee.
We could not have accomplished all of these improvements, in a short 12-month period, without Rachel’s guidance, experience and, most importantly, her friendly and positive approach to helping our Academy reach its full potential.
James B. Crawford
Trustee & Treasurer