Peggy Conver Named 2009 
John Batley Award Recipient

April 15, 2009 - One of the traditional highlights of the PAISBOA Annual Meeting is the presentation of the John Batley Award, our highest honor. A former CFO of Westtown School, recipient of the Visionary Award, and the man for whom the John Batley Award was created, John’s legacy is one of selfless giving and inclusion in PAISBOA. We celebrate his character, competence, and consistency each year with the selection of the John Batley Award winner.

For 2009, the John Batley Award was presented to Peggy Conver of Chestnut Hill Academy

Peggy Conver has been involved with PAISBOA for over ten years, serving two terms as chair of the Admissions Committee as well as assisting with new member orientation and strategic planning, keeping her focus on the whole independent school environment regardless of school size. Her warmth and ready smile is always a welcome sight for newcomers and current members alike. She is very modest in her assertions that she has taken much more back to her school than she feels she has given and truly treasures the friendships and support she has developed with all of her fellow Business Managers. We disagree.

Peggy arrived at Chestnut Hill Academy in 1995, coming from the Comptroller position at Drexel University where she had served ten years, the first five of which she spent developing the university’s financial systems and procedures. When the Comptroller became ill, she transitioned into that position, managing the finance, budget and reporting for the then $200 million institution. Prior to Drexel she was a financial consultant for SCT, Inc., being one of the original designer/implementers of what has become their BANNER software product. She has many wonderful stories of traveling to universities and state governments around the country -- all while dragging her 70 pound “portable” computer. She started her career and received her CPA certificate working at Arthur Young & Company after earning her B.S in Business Management and Accounting from Bucknell University in 1977.

When she came to CHA she found a historically certified building in major need of repair and updating, a community of trustees, administration, faculty and staff who had little faith in the reliability or accessibility of the business operation as well as a severely strained office staff that truly was just trying to hold it all together. The financial system was defunct one month after her arrival, the food in the cafeteria very unpopular, the budget out of balance and the school was in the early phase of a major capital campaign that would serve as the catalyst for a building process that has not stopped since she arrived. Headmaster Frank Steel noted in his announcement of Peggy’s retirement “it is no understatement to say that she has helped to preside over the almost complete transformation and modernization of the CHA campus. The soon to be finished Science and Technology Center is a fittingly glorious final project for this remarkable member of our leadership team.”

Peggy also presided over a complete overhaul of the salary and benefit programs at CHA, revamped the financial aid, billing and financial accounting and reporting systems, served as school liaison and head cheerleader to the CHA Parents Association, assisted in the development of three separate strategic plans and the five-year financial models that supported them, the issuance of the first tax-exempt bond financing in the school’s history as well as the creation of several new management functions in the facilities and finance areas that will help to ensure the continuation of CHA’s commitment to excellence in every area. Her friendship and great working relationship with Frank Aloise, Springside School’s Director of Finance and Operations, has served both schools well as they work together to find efficiencies and improvements that benefit the combined school communities.

Married since 1990 to David, an attorney in Lansdale, PA she even volunteered his time and expertise as an estate and life planning expert to be part of the retirement planning seminars PAISBOA has provided for all local faculty and staff. She is leaving CHA at the end of this school year to spend more time with her daughter CC, who is in the class of 2012 at Springside as well as to make herself more available to her family in Pittsburgh as they plan for major transitions. She has promised to stay involved with PAISBOA and the independent school community – A promise we will definitely look for her to keep.


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