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Unsung Hero: Jan Austin, National Child Research Center

By Net Assets posted 07-13-2018 09:59 AM

Jan Austin

Leadership |

A multi-year financial model that Austin created helped the preschool plan for strategic initiatives that boosted revenue 15 percent growth.

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 2018 recipients. Stay tuned to for additional profiles.

Title: Chief Financial Officer

School: National Child Research CenterWashington, D.C.

Years in current position: 14

Years in an independent school business office: 14

Superpower: Financial modeling for strategic planning. Austin developed a multi-year financial model that helped the preschool plan for financially viable and strategic program initiatives. NCRC has subsequently seen 15 percent growth in revenue during her tenure as CFO. "This is an amazing effort, but when one recognizes that the 'back office' is 1.5 full-time employees, then it borders on herculean," according to a nomination. 

Modernizer: She led the effort to bring new technologies to the business office that created efficiencies and improved data management.  

Unassuming Strength: "Jan is a 'quiet storm.' She is passionate and doggedly determined to support NCRC's financial sustainability. She is frequently at the office until the wee hours of the morning to make sure she has created the best financial model or made the best deal with a vendor." 

Generous soul: "While she's an amazing CFO, it's her compassion that makes her an outstanding nominee. For example, during a low enrollment period, she offered to give back a portion of her salary to help the school remain whole. She is selfless."

See a full list of the 2018 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. 


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