To manage Andover’s complex budget and oversee the day-to-day financial operations of the school, Andrea Nix joined Andover on October 1 as the new Director of Finance.
Working in the Comptroller’s Office, Nix will oversee the school’s operating and capital budgets as well as payroll and financial statements. She will also work with the Investment Office, faculty, administrators and the Board of Trustees to organize the financial aspects of Academy projects.
Before coming to Andover, Nix previously worked as Financial Director at Miss Hall’s School, a private high school in Pittsfield, Mass., at Brandeis College from 2001 to 2007 and at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum from 2007 to 2011. After working at the Arboretum, Nix decided to return to secondary schools.
“The difference between secondary and higher education, I found, was [that] in secondary education, we all truly have a common mission and purpose; we are all here for the students. There is no other compelling reason to be doing our jobs,” said Nix.
“[When I was at Harvard and Brandeis] the faculty research was much more important than the education that was going on, and I didn’t like that–I wanted to focus on education. And in some higher educational institutions, the higher status of faculty you are, the less you teach. It is a higher status to not teach. That’s why I like to be back in secondary schools. I really enjoy being part of the family,” Nix continued.
One week into her new position, Nix does not yet have any long-term plans for major changes.
“I have a lot of things in my mind, but I’ve been here a week, and I really need to listen and understand a lot better before I can recommend changes,” said Nix.
Nix said that she wants to make the process of paying bills more efficient and to help members of the community better understand and use the budget.
After Elliot Hacker, former Director of Finance, retired last spring, Andover began searching for an individual to fill the position.
Interested in working at a secondary school, Nix applied for the position in June, according to Nix.
Stephen Carter, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, interviewed the applicants. Nix was informed of her selection in late August.
“I liked [Nix’s] experience, her management experience, her background. She’s a certified public accountant, so she knows the financial side. And she had worked at a school before, so she had a lot of relevant experience to what we needed,” said Carter.
In addition to her understanding of her financial responsibilities, Carter saw potential in Nix’s ability to manage an office. As Director of Finance, Nix will be in charge of the 11 members of the Comptroller’s Office.
“I really care about education, and [I] enjoy the students [and] the fact that my job is to work with everybody, all the faculty, to help deliver the education programs. In secondary education, it’s an interesting community: it’s lively–lots of lively dialogue and discussion,” said Nix.
Nix received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from Smith College and a Master of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. She eventually decided to pursue financial management in order to support her family.
“I studied theater, dance and art history [at Smith] because I loved them and still do, and I’m very happy I had that education. I found that I was talented in management and accounting and chose that path because I enjoyed it and because I married an artist and planned to have a family, so one of us had to earn a living,” wrote Nix in an e-mail to The Phillipian.