Meet the Legends of the Business Office

The business office is a mystery to most students. Beyond the basic knowledge that it’s somewhere in Moore, not much is known about it — but behind its discreet door lies an entirely new world full of nice furniture and a wonderful group of people. 

As you make your way up the stairs to the third floor of Moore, you’ll pass by a few offices. The first things you’ll notice are the family photographs, paintings, and plants that line the walls. You’ll be greeted by everyone with a smile and shown around the office with pride — someone will guide you to a calendar with pictures of the team during their many activities together (such as their end-of-year toy drives, or their sailing trips); someone else might tell you about an art piece that one of their coworkers made. Finally, you’ll leave the business office with a handful of chocolates and snacks — and with a newfound appreciation for the teamwork and community that drives the business office. 

Without further ado, here are introductions to the wonderful team working behind-the-scenes for Lakeside’s business office.


Amy Rice:

  1.   Hi I’m Amy Rice, Lakeside’s Accounts Payable accountant. I came to Lakeside over six years ago from the Seattle Art Museum where I did just about the same job as I do here: pay the bills. If the lights stay on, that means I’ve done my job! I deal with all manner of outside vendors that support Lakeside; from dance DJs to roof leak repair-people, painters and plumbers and guest speakers to paying for our graduation diplomas, caps and gowns and paying the GSL Partner organizations that assist with our student trips as well as a million “little things” such as the ingredients for Chef Ben’s famous brownies. And don’t forget Pacific Publishing – the printer of Tatler. I pay for the props for the musicals and the art supplies that the Arts Department teachers order. I write the checks that pay our electric, water, garbage and gas bills. I pay the telephone bills, internet services, and fuel for the buses. Prom rental venues and May Day games. My tasks are quite varied and no two days are exactly the same. In addition to outside vendors, I also pay Lakeside community members. For example when a parent/guardian (or a Lakeside teacher) spends their own money for athletics team meals or classroom supplies, I’m the person who makes sure they get their money reimbursed from our school budgets. And whenever a student club makes a payment or donation to a charity, I print the checks and mail them. I also oversee the school credit cards that Lakeside employees use for their school purchases, there are over 100 cards to keep track of. I work with others in the business office to make sure school funds are spent judiciously and help all the Lakeside Departments stay within their annual budgets. We also work together to protect the school funds from fraud.
  2.   My average day starts by reviewing a lot of incoming bills and different kinds of payment requests. I look over incoming invoices to make sure the invoices are correct and legitimate and that Lakeside has actually received the items/services listed in the invoice. If it looks good, I will enter the invoice for payment into our accounting system and make sure the correct Lakeside Department is charged for the cost. I send out a lot of emails and make a fair number of phone calls to vendors about things like credits for refunds/returned merchandise, payment deadlines, tax questions and answer their questions about payments and how to bill and get paid by Lakeside for the work they’ve done for us (or the item they sold to us). We pay our hundreds of different vendors with paper checks and also hundreds more accept electronic payments so I need to always keep a large number of vendors’ bank details accurate to make sure our electronic payments are received without trouble. I’ll also respond to many internal emails from Faculty and Staff about budgets, questions about their Lakeside credit card and questions about how to get reimbursed. Basically I make all the payments the school needs to make with the exception of payroll. Mr. Derrick Godornes here in the business office handles payroll/paychecks. But I pay basically everything else.
  3.   My favorite part of the job is having a front row seat to how Lakeside is an asset to our local community. A school this large has a big financial footprint in our neighborhood and how we spend our school budget has a big impact on small businesses who support us throughout North Seattle and greater King County. This became even more apparent during the Covid crisis when many small businesses around us lost their customers when King County shut down. But Lakeside carried on – we kept buying what we needed to stay open and in turn, our spending helped many small businesses stay afloat. We kept printing Tatler for example. We kept hiring small independent painters to paint our buildings, we kept up the landscaping with our local independent landscaping company and the local arborist who takes care of the two big sequoia trees in front of Bliss Hall. We kept hiring independent photographers and artists/illustrators and writers for Lakeside Magazine. We bought signs – so many Covid signs – to erect around campus from a local sign-maker business. By simply buying the goods and services we need to function (as many as we can locally) the school has become an asset to the larger community we are located in. I’m glad to be a part of that.
  4. What inspired me to this role is certainly not math! I’m terrible at it despite dealing with numbers all day. Ha! But luckily I have modern tools and the support of my business office team to keep our errors nonexistent! (Just kidding, we do make errors – but not many!) I like being part of a team that is so integral to Lakeside’s mission. Without the funds, nothing gets done.
  5.   My favorite food is pizza and you may see me around campus wearing a skirt in honor of my favorite food of all time. Pizza is the best food and there is no debating it; however, Chef Ben’s coconut cake is a close second.
  6.   I like to paint, and my business office co-worker Sarah Damm (who also paints) and I have decorated the office with some of our work. You can come up and see them sometime, and raid our candy bowl. Third floor, Moore!


Ashleigh McLean:

  1. Hi! I’m Ashleigh and I’ve been in the HR office at Lakeside since 2019. It’s hard to succinctly sum up what I do as the HR Manager, but my work revolves around all aspects of employment at the school: managing the hiring process, issuing contracts, onboarding new employees, helping our employees navigate the various benefits available to them, communicating (a lot!) with payroll, ensuring HR compliance, and anything else that is employment related. 
  2. No two days look the same (which I love!), but I usually find myself onboarding new employees (between faculty and staff, athletics coaches, trip leaders, music coaches, etc, there are always new people joining our community!), issuing contracts, preparing reports, working on payroll, meeting with colleagues, and answering quite a few emails.
  3. The best part of my job is easily working alongside my wonderful colleagues. If I can solve a problem, streamline a process, or take something off their plate that makes it easier for them to go back to their space feeling supported, I am at my happiest. 
  4.  I worked in quite a few different industries before finding myself in HR – and I feel like I took little pieces of what I loved from each of those roles and discovered that the parts I loved the most could all be found in HR! I’ve always loved customer service, and working in HR allows me to support my colleagues in such a rewarding and meaningful way. I also always loved math (and really anything that had a “right answer”) and, while certainly not the case for all things that come across my desk, I love that many things in HR are like puzzles or math problems waiting to be solved. 
  5.  I would eat pasta every day if I could!
  6.  I have three daughters (Harlow, Navy, and Wilder) and a 3-legged Goldendoodle named Billy Crystal! They keep me pretty busy, but if I can find free time I love to read, write, and cook. 


Birage Tandon:

  1. I have been at Lakeside for 10 years and a half years. I was hired to be the chief financial officer and about 4 years ago some additional responsibilities were added to my plate and now I oversee areas like the business office, human resources, facilities & maintenance, food services, technology, and summer programs. 
  2. No two days are the same. I attend a lot of meetings and answer a lot of emails, but the topics and the issues are always different! My meetings are often internal, with different committees and Lakeside colleagues, as well as external, with people and companies that provide services to the school, such as attorneys, auditors, insurance brokers, and so on. I also work on financial spreadsheets quite a bit. I try not to let my days get packed full of meetings, to leave some time to think, and read, and write, but that isn’t always possible. I don’t often get to work with students, but when I do – like with SAAG, or when Tatler staff want an interview 🙂 – I enjoy those times the most! 
  3. Aside from the rare opportunities to work with students, I love interacting with my colleagues. Most of the people who work at Lakeside are so smart, dedicated, creative, kind, and funny, I just enjoy being part of such high quality teams.
  4. As you can imagine, the main purpose of my role is to steward the financial well-being of the school, and to ensure long-term sustainability by managing the school’s resources and risks responsibly. I take this responsibility seriously and it gives me purpose and satisfaction when our teams do a good job. I am inspired by the generosity of the Lakeside community, the thoughtfulness and wisdom of its leaders, and the amazing people I get to work with.
  5. I like simple foods – bread, cheese, dark chocolate, eggs – eggs are the most incredible food in my opinion! I guess my favorite food is anything I don’t have to cook! 
  6. I love to travel and I have lived in a few different cities in India, Europe, and the US, and have traveled to all seven continents where we’ve made some awesome friends and had some amazing experiences!


Clayton Castagnola:

  1. Hi! My name is Clayton Castagnola and I have been with Lakeside for two years now. My main role is to help with the donations that the school receives. I work alongside the Development Office, PGA, The Downtown School, and others to make sure that our donations are being tracked and used for the purpose that the donors intended. I also help with student billing for our households at The Downtown School.
  2. A normal day for me includes answering emails from employees and parents/guardians, preparing excel workbooks and reports, recording activity in our accounting system, and helping with various projects happening at Lakeside.
  3. My favorite part of my job is seeing all of the incredible activities that the students are involved in! Whether it is an event happening on campus, or helping to support a student with a question, I always enjoy learning about the interesting projects happening throughout the school. 
  4. There’s a scene in The Office where Oscar tells Darryl at a career fair that there’s just something about accounting that is incredibly satisfying. I’m sure that many of us in the business office would agree with Oscar. Our work is rewarding, and allows us to solve problems as a group that help support the school and all of its fantastic programs. 
  5. Honeycrisp apples!
  6. In my free time, I love to hike and backpack. 


Derrick Godornes:

  1.  Hello Lakeside Students! I’m Derrick and I’m responsible for paychecks of everyone who works for Lakeside school, except for independent contractors and vendors; Amy from A/P is guru on that!  I’m responsible for the paychecks of teachers, substitute teachers, coaches; to which is also a partnership with HR in making sure everyone gets paid correctly and accurately.
  2.  My average day is mostly answering emails. Then I go through my workflows and make sure everything is processed and approved.  I also do research and make sure Lakeside  school payroll is in compliance with local/ state and federal employment laws.
  3. My favorite part of my job is working with numbers and reports.  Looking for ways to improve our systems in terms of efficiency.  I also enjoy the customer side of the position in terms of answering questions and helping out employees.
  4.  My work is part of a larger group so it’s inspiring to see when my work fits correctly with others work and you see quality work contributed to  bigger picture.
  5.  I love empanadas! They’re my favorite! 
  6.  I enjoy long bikes on weekends; I love traveling and going on outdoor trips/drive with my family. I like doing home improvements and fixing things.


Sarah Damm:

  1. This is my 9th school year with Lakeside. I’m the main point person for our parent and guardian community when it comes to their Veracross family portal and Magnus Health portal. I do all the configurations for the Veracross student billing module, Veracross enrollment module, Magnus Health database, as well as the accounting entries associated with tuition, financial aid, and miscellaneous expenses that our students have throughout the year. 
  2. Most of my day is spent in using Veracross, Magnus Health, Excel, and Microsoft Exchange.
  3. Providing support for our families. I’m a natural people pleaser so it gives me a lot of satisfaction helping families throughout the year.
  4. When I was in middle school my older brother paid me to track his receipts one summer to see where he was spending his paychecks. I really enjoyed that so I decided to get a specialization in Finance during my undergrad. He was spending his paychecks on mochas and Italian sodas by the way!
  5. Chicken Pad Thai
  6. My family are huge hockey fans. Go Kraken! My 9 year old daughter even plays hockey for WWFHA, the only all-female hockey league in the state. When I’m not at Lakeside you can find me most at the Kraken Community Iceplex.


Sarah Quackenbush:

  1. Hi! My name is Sarah Q. I’ve been working with non-profits and private schools in the greater Seattle area my whole career. My role at Lakeside largely includes accounting for & managing the School’s endowment alongside our CFO, Controller & Investment Committee. I also help divisional directors & administrators manage their budgets, collaborate with the business office staff on the School’s financial reporting needs & calculate the annual endowment draw each year.
  2. It depends on the day and time of year! If it’s in the summer, you could find me supporting the Global Service Learning or Summer School programs or working with our external auditors on our financial statement audit. If it’s during the school year, I could be sending budget reports out, working on the endowment decisions made by the investment committee, or some other financial reporting need of the School. 
  3. Working with students, faculty & staff who love Lakeside so much. We have such a wonderful community of people who are committed to making Lakeside the best place it can be and it’s fun to be a part of.
  4. Before coming to Lakeside, I worked exclusively with non-profit & independent schools in the Seattle area. I’ve always been drawn to helping and being a part of the missional purpose of a nonprofit organization. There are nuances to non-profit accounting & financial reporting and I knew I wanted to focus on that area of work. Don’t ask me about taxes! I’m not a tax accountant. 
  5. It’s a toss up between thai food and mexican food. I don’t think I can pick one!
  6. Thanks for allowing our team to be a part of your Tatler publication!


Troylyn Goldsberry:

  1. Hi!  I am Troylyn Goldsberry – the Controller in the business office.  I was hired in April of 2020 right when COVID hit.  As a Controller, I manage the accounting team. I also like to refer to myself as not your typical bean counter!  I am more of an extrovert and enjoy making those around me smile and laugh!  🙂    
  2. My days in the business office are usually not average, which makes my days exciting and go by fast!  Typically, it is reviewing and approving work of our team – from approving invoices to pay, approving payroll, reviewing accounting entries, monitoring cash along with preparing workbooks/reports for other staff/faculty.  I prepare our year-end financial statements along with managing our annual audit.   
  3. The favorite part of my job is the amazing team I work with!  We are all there for each other and willing to step up and assist whenever needed. I also enjoy the camaraderie across the campus with other staff and faculty.  
  4. While I was in the Navy and was exposed to some basic bookkeeping and discovered how much I enjoyed numbers.  I decided to pursue my Bachelor of Science in Accounting along with taking a giant step further and obtaining my CPA – Certified Public Accountant.  
  5. Favorite food – more of a snack – dark chocolate!        
  6. The craziest thing I ever did was jump out of a plane at 12,000 feet.  I can say I skydived once and I can also say that once was enough!  


Ying Purcell:

  1. It is my 4th year with Lakeside. I work as a business office manager and Assistant to CFO/Assistant Head of School. I manage the business office, handle Ms. Tandon’s calendar, and oversee the custom bus program. I’ve worked as a teacher, consultant, project manager, and executive assistant in a variety of industries in different countries, including China, Belgium, and Japan, and I find meaning and purpose in my work at Lakeside. 
  2. My day used to start with phone calls with the Metro Transit Control Center to ensure that all of our custom buses were out of the yard on time and on their way to pick up our riders. Addressing bus issues could make the morning hours from 7 to 8:30 intense. Fortunately, the need for early morning phone calls has been infrequent. When I arrive at the office, I first scan Ms. Tandon’s calendar to ensure that all of the meetings for that day will take place as planned and without any time conflicts. It requires collaboration with my excellent colleagues from other departments and sometimes with external parties. Managing Outlook calendars in a logical and efficient manner is sometimes like putting together a puzzle through team effort. Then I’ll go over my to-do list and re-prioritize tasks as needed. Improving the efficiency of the custom bus program, redesigning elements of the program in response to changing circumstances, and optimizing the bus service, are always on my mind. Proactively taking on projects involves data analysis, map study, problem-solving, attending meetings, and communication via emails and phone calls, and surveys.
  3. Working in an environment where people are dedicated to what they do feels great. I enjoy being a part of such a vibrant community of supportive, interesting, and talented colleagues and students. I am constantly learning new things.
  4. Lakeside’s mission and the team’s commitment to work excellence. 
  5. Green tea mochi ice cream. 
  6. I like mountains and the water. I used to go sailing and outdoor rock climbing almost every weekend. Nowadays, yoga, Zumba, indoor rock climbing, and hiking are things I like to do often. I was also inspired by my artistic colleagues on our team, Ms. Damm and Ms. Rice, and began to learn Sumi-E painting with brushes and inks. It is a lot of fun. My dream is to travel the world and write novels someday.


Chiantee Rosete

  1. I am Lakeside School’s new (and first) Recruitment and Hiring Manager. Something I love sharing with people right off the bat is that I’m a proud corgi mom to Maui aka Danny DeVito aka Maui Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi (yes, he responds to all 3 names). I am the daughter of two extremely hard-working Filipino immigrants, and I was born in a little island called Saipan.
  2. An average day for me involves a lot of emails and a lot more research. DEI is critical when it comes to recruiting and hiring, and so I am always looking for ways to diversify Lakeside’s talent pool and learn strategies on how to improve candidate experience and retention.
  3. I’ve said this time and time again, but it really is the best part of my job so I will always shout it from the rooftops. My favorite part about my job is opening doors for those who didn’t even realize they had access to such doors.
  4. Simply put, people inspire me. There are way too many people, who have both inspired me and advocated for me to dream big and pursue my goals, to mention that the Oscar’s play-off music might start playing if I list them all.
  5. Pho! My personal favorite spot is Tamarind Tree, but I respect and love all Pho.
  6. I am an avid reader and am always receptive of book recommendations, so feel free to throw them my way. I’ll be at the Business Office in the Moore building if anyone wants to discuss or trade books.

Thanks to Ms. Tandon and Ms. Purcell for the interviews, and thanks to the entire business office for your time and everything that you do!