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Unsung Hero: Thomas Park, Chinese American International School

By Net Assets posted 08-18-2017 08:57 AM

Thomas Park

Leadership |

The Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award is given to business officers who have made extraordinary contributions to their schools and exemplify exceptional integrity, knowledge and motivation. At the end of each school year, new Unsung Heroes receive their award from their head of school, often at a significant school occasion such as a board meeting or an all-school ceremony. What makes these Unsung Heroes so special? The highlights below come straight from their colleagues' nominations. 

See a full list of the 2017 recipients. Stay tuned to for additional profiles.

Title: Director of Finance and Operations

School: Chinese American International School, San Francisco, California

Years in current position: 5

Years in an independent school business office: 10 (retired this year)

Superpower: Construction project management — managed the leasing and complete renovation of a new middle school campus over 16 months while performing all other DFO duties, and then oversaw an extensive punch list of follow-up items following move in. “It is inconceivable that our new state-of-the-art middle school campus would have been opened on time [without] Thomas.”

Soft touch: Bridged the gap between business/operations and education at the school — held Friday afternoon parties in the business office for all departments. “Thomas is a DFO with the mind of a strategist and the heart of a teacher.”

Has survived: Business processes outdated by 20 years and lack of transparency in compensation and financial aid upon arrival. Modernized budgeting, compensation and financial aid systems and aligned them with strategic priorities.

Cool operator: “The number of challenges we have faced are too numerous to count, yet I have never once seen Thomas lose his temper or raise his voice. His typical reaction when under fire is to smile, throw up his hands, and later remark through laughter, ‘Can you believe this?’”

See a full list of the 2017 recipients and read more about the Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award. will post additional profiles of Unsung Heroes over the summer and into the fall — check in to learn more about other recipients.

#Culture #Leadership

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