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Unsung Hero: Lynda Sailor, Aspen Academy

By Net Assets posted 17 days ago

  
Lynda Sailor, Unsung Hero

Leadership |

Sailor established a firm financial foundation for Aspen Academy while overseeing campus renovation and launching a preventative maintenance plan.

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: Co-founder, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer

School: Aspen Academy, Greenwood Village, CO

Years in Position: 15

Years in an independent school business office: 15

Superpower: Financial prowess. As a co-founder of Aspen Academy, Sailor played a pivotal role in maintaining an operating budget in the black since the school’s founding, as well as paying off the initial start-up loan in the first year of operations. Additionally, Sailor has established and maintained a robust operating reserve account and created a long-term investment fund that is currently in excess of $7 million. Her focus on sustainable and scalable business practices has enabled her school to “raise the bar in remarkable ways. Lynda’s work is an integral part of the formula for Aspen Academy’s success.”

Ground(s)breaker: “Lynda has renovated every square inch of Aspen’s 78,000 square foot building, transforming the campus from run-down, dated buildings to a bright, vibrant space that propels learning.” During a 10-week renovation, Sailor managed the addition of 14 outdoor labs and classrooms, as well as 10 "teaching gardens." Additionally, Sailor established a preventative maintenance plan, "resulting in zero deferred maintenance for the last five years.”

Community-connected: Under Sailor’s leadership, Aspen has maintained an above-average retention of faculty and staff while also revamping recruitment practices that focus on cultural fit and increased diversity. Sailor takes time to “ensure that Aspen’s faculty and staff are cared for and invested in our culture of continuous improvement.”

Weathering the storm: “At times when there’s been a crisis in our community, Lynda has remained calm and has demonstrated tremendous leadership. When the school was struck by lightning, caught fire and was flooded, Lynda … leapt to action to assure smooth and quick resolution and restoration.”

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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