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.