Paul Rubsam Retires After 17+ Years at NDP

Every successful institution needs a hardworking individual overseeing the budget and maintaining financial sustainability. For nearly two decades that person at Notre Dame Preparatory has been Paul Rubsam, one of two 2020 Patron Saints Award recipients, along with faculty member Mary Lou Lachvayder.

With his New York accent and ever-present smile, Rubsam is a behind-the-scenes kind of guy whose pastoral demeanor, humility and thoughtfulness have made him a respected and beloved member of the NDP community since the school’s beginning.

“I have known Paul since the inception of Notre Dame Preparatory,” said MaryBeth Mueller, the former superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Phoenix from 1992 to 2017. 

Rubsam volunteered for the initial planning committee and served as chair of the Finance Committee preparing for the opening of NDP. “I was so pleased when he decided to apply for the Finance Director position because he was very invested in the success of the school from the very beginning,” Mueller added.

As a source of calm and guidance for all the administrators at NDP, Rubsam has consistently been a responsible steward of NDP’s financial resources while meeting the needs of students, teachers, administrators and the advancement team. 

An avid golfer and supporter of Catholic education, Rubsam garnered high praise from many of his colleagues including his friend and 2019 Patron Saint Awardee, George Prelock. “Paul is always very generous and willing to support teachers with what they need to best provide for the student body,” Prelock said. 

Then he added. “Paul is a pillar in the NDP community even though the students may not know him. He is the reason NDP is so successful.” 

Notre Dame Prep is near and dear to Rubsam’s heart. “My prayer is that parents and students continue to see the value in Catholic education and that NDP is the preeminent Catholic high school in the Diocese,” he said.

Earning the Patron Saint Award came as a pleasant surprise to Rubsam. “I am truly humbled to be given this award,” he said. “I have had the honor to work closely with all the past honorees and I am truly grateful to be included in this group.” 

Rubsam will retire from Notre Dame Preparatory on August 31 so that he can spend more time with Karen, his wife of 37 years, play some golf and read more. With him goes a piece of NDP history.

“He deserves to retire and he will be missed, but I know that he will always continue to care about NDP,” Mueller said.

Lisa Johnston, CPA CGMA, will take over as Notre Dame Prep finance director. Johnston is a graduate of the University of Arizona, and she is an active member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Arizona Society of CPAs (ASCPA).

Johnston has specialized in accounting for twenty-five years. She has a passion for helping people understand their financial position and how that can enhance their organization. Her focus in the last three years has been dedicated to the Catholic church and school accounting.

With her passion for giving back, Johnston assists many organizations. She sits on an executive board for the AICPA. For many years she has assisted the Arizona legislature review bills from the tax implication angle. Annually she reviews scholarship applications for the AICPA. She actively participates on non-profit boards. 

Johnston is married to Richard and they have six children from 18 to 4 years old. Extra time for Lisa is spent gardening, cooking, and learning about essential oils and clean living.  She and her family are avid runners, soccer fans, and outdoor adventurers.