For Betsy Rosenmiller, the worlds of business and art are intertwined.
Rosenmiller is the finance director for Metropolitan Arts Institute in Phoenix, where she oversees all of the school’s budget, vendor contracts, audits, human resources procedures, and compliance with state and federal requirements.
But her passion for the school goes beyond finance. Rosenmiller is an accomplished ceramics artist who has shown her work nationally and internationally, she is also a jeweler and a former art gallery director.
As a result, she views her job at the school as more than inputting numbers on a spreadsheet, signing paperwork or ensuring the school’s audits are complete.
There’s a personal connection on every transaction for Rosenmiller.
Rosenmiller transformed the small charter school’s front office, which serves about 250 students in grades 7-12, after years of constant transition and helped the school regularly achieve perfect audits. Always looking for to put more money in the classroom, Betsy is constantly researching new vendors and improving efficiency.
Her impeccable business office support and her devotion to the students, faculty and the school’s mission have led to her selection as the Arizona Charter School Association’s 2016 Business Leader of the Year.
“Having a business administrator who really understands why we’re here and what we’re doing is priceless,” said Head of School and co-founder Matthew Baker. “She’s remarkable and understands the student body, and cares about them and the work that we do.”
Rosenmiller has support Metro Arts since her husband, Baker, co-founded the Central Phoenix school in 1998, but didn’t officially join the staff until 2009.
Prior to her hiring, the school hired seven business managers in its first 11 years, Baker said. The school needed stability and operational organization.
With Rosenmiller’s background as an art gallery director and her bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s of fine arts in ceramics, she was the perfect fit.
Although she was tasked with tracking the school’s finances, her bottom line was centered around the needs of students.
“Everything that I do is about the students and for the students, so that’s what I go back to in the decisions that are made in the school. What is going to be best for the students and best benefit them?” Said Rosenmiller.
Rosenmiller has taken on extra duties as she has increased her involvement at the school. She is in charge of all student scheduling, co-teaches art coursework and currently leads the craft club.
“I really enjoy chance to interact with the students and be in that environment day-to-day, and get to know them,” she said.
These activities, along with her own love of art, has helped cultivate her connection with the rest of the school.
“She puts a lot of time and energy into the things that are important to her. She is very detailed oriented and family oriented,” said Jennifer Quinn, director of student services. “I’ve really seen her heart and dedication change a lot of stuff in administration.”
The students have gained from every aspect of her experience, from her advising on school scheduling to displaying artistic prowess in the classroom.
Sedona Lapis, a junior at the school, took a class where she learned sewing and ceramics from Rosenmiller, who was a co-teacher.
Lapis, 17, appreciated Rosenmiller’s guidance and demeanor as she was working on her art.
“It was actually really fun having her teach things that most of wouldn’t learn,” she said. “She brought a really nice happiness to the classroom.”
Meet Our 2016 Charter Award Winners
Academy of Math and Science – Prince is a K-8 charter school serving 420 students in Tucson. This STEM-focused school has high academic rigor for students while providing a well-rounded college-prep education.
Valerie Merrill is the principal at Legacy Traditional School – Gilbert, a K-8 charter school serving 1,200 students in Gilbert. Valerie is an inspirational leader and a quintessential role model for everyone involved with the school.
Betsy Rosenmiller is the finance director at Metropolitan Arts Institute, a charter high school serving 250 students in Phoenix. Although Betsy has a background in business administration, her passion is art.
Richelle Lewis is a third-grade teacher at American Leadership Academy – Queen Creek, a K-6 charter school serving 760 students. Richelle understands and embraces that all students learn differently.