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 2019 recipients. Stay tuned to NetAssets.org for additional profiles.
Title: Deputy Head of School and Chief Financial Officer
School: formerly at Indian Creek School, Crownsville, Maryland; currently at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts
Years in position: 4
Years in an independent school business office: 20
Superpower: Innovator. Dennison was instrumental in designing and implementing a flexible tuition model that resulted in better retention, increased enrollment and a gain of net tuition revenue. She also played a critical role in her contributions to the MISBO & IDEO project, “Powering Schools into the Future,” which aims to imagine innovative and successful business models for independent schools. “Linda has been a friend, a consultant, a collaborator and a national presence, but her real service has been that of an innovator in the world of business officers.”
Power project planner: In addition to negotiating a complex sale of property at her school, Dennison oversaw the redesign of the upper school campus and the construction design for a new lower school campus. She also oversaw the construction of a $4.2 million outdoor athletic complex.
Master mentor: “She models leadership and then provides the trust and support so that members of her team are confident enough to step onto a national platform. True to her work, soon it will be the people she has mentored who will be giving back in equal measure.”
Security Strategist: Dennison helped school leaders move away from traditional lockdown drills and institute new emergency protocols intended to build confidence and trust among students and faculty. “Linda has been pushing those of us in definable leadership roles to walk away from traditional practices and innovate our way to a better model, a better practice, a better place.”
See a full list of the 2019 recipients and read more about the Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award. NetAssets.org will post additional profiles of Unsung Heroes throughout the fall — check in to learn more about other recipients.
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