What's it All For?
The Association of Boarding Schools supports and advances prep boarding schools in the United States, Canada, and around the globe.
As a “community of communities,” TABS partners with school leaders—particularly Heads and Assistant Heads of School, Residential & Student Life Practitioners, and Admission & Marketing Professionals— to drive excellence, innovation, and collaboration so that every student thrives.
We also develop programs for schools to better identify and manage risks, most notably by our training around student safety and care, as well as through TuitionNet, the association’s tuition insurance program.
For all of the schools we serve, we create opportunities for true connection and sharing. We aim to help leaders cultivate academic communities that are inclusive, just, sustainable—and truly exceptional.
The Ruzicka Compass Premier Leadership Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the excellence, advancement, and success of boarding schools. The Compass is named in honor of the late Steven D. Ruzicka, The Association of Boarding School’s Executive Director from 1995-2007. A fitting symbol of Steve Ruzicka’s profound commitment to do what was right and to pilot a true course is found in the compass, which revolutionized exploration and without which many of history’s great voyages might never have taken place. A steadying influence, rich with vision, and always true, even in turbulent times, Steve’s leadership likewise enabled great voyages for so many boarding schools, and for the leaders, educators, and families who live and serve in these remarkable communities.
The Award itself, an elegant, handcrafted artisan box with an inlaid compass, is presented on behalf of TABS’ Board of Directors to one individual each year at TABS Annual Conference. A larger, compass-themed plaque, bearing the names of each annual recipient, is maintained at TABS offices.
Patricia previously served as the Head of the Upper School at the Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove, Florida. She also worked at the Loomis Chaffee School as a dean of students and was heavily involved in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the school. Prior to Loomis Chaffee, Patricia worked at The Madeira School in several roles, including as a major gifts officer, director of student activities, special assistant to the head of school on diversity, and the assistant dean of students for residential life.
Before transitioning into education, Ms. Sasser worked at ESPN as an associate producer, where she was a two-time Emmy® nominee and a 2006 Emmy® award winner.
Raquel Majeski began working at Lawrence Academy in 2017 and is the Assistant Head for Equity and Community Life. She has a BA from Eckerd College in communications and human development and an MA from Nova Southeastern University in reading and special education. Raquel lives in Brazer with her two children, Lauryn and Wade. She loves spending time with the students at LA, participating in book clubs and bible study groups, and attending Dave Matthews Band concerts. Raquel is also the Chair of the diversity task force for the town of Groton.
Marquis Scott joined The Lawrenceville School in 2018 and has made significant contributions in various leadership roles. He has implemented a technology-focused strategic plan to enhance cyber security practices, improve employee portal utilization, and streamline campus-wide technology support. Marquis has also played a pivotal role in advancing the School’s initiatives on diversity, equity, and inclusion, implementing best practices and leading senior staff efforts in this area. Additionally, he has led strategic communication and institutional marketing committees, ensuring consistent communication, website strategy, and brand identity aligned with the School’s mission. Marquis has been instrumental in the marketing and branding of Lawrenceville’s Gruss Center for Art & Design and collaborates with the Lawrenceville community to prioritize and execute strategic projects.
In addition to his role as the assistant head of school, Marquis has successfully undertaken various acting leadership positions, including chief technology officer, director of communications and external affairs, dean of diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, and director of human resources. Currently, he leads a student-centered Wellness Team, working collaboratively with the medical director, dean of students, and dean of campus well-being to prioritize a holistic approach to student well-being.
Scott holds a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University’s School of Business in Newark, NJ, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Computer Science from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and he is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa, with an anticipated completion date of Winter 23-24. Scott recently completed the National Association of Independent Schools’ Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads. He is an alumnus of the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Hotchkiss Board of Governors.