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: Assistant Head of School for Finance and Administration
School: The Bryn Mawr School, Baltimore, Maryland
Years in Position: 25
Years in an independent school business office: 25
Superpower: Finance guru. Over the past 25 years, Wolford has helped The Bryn Mawr School achieve financial and capital growth; rethink financial aid and implement a Net Tuition Revenue model; and safeguarding the overall welfare and well-being of the school community. “She has been a steadfast partner in keeping the school financially fit while not sacrificing services for students. Sharon makes it her mission to understand all the educational processes of the school so that we can make sound financial decisions.”
Master collaborator: Wolford was instrumental in forming the Tri-School Consortium for Health Benefits, a joint effort with two neighboring schools to collectively manage health insurance. This has led to shared classes for students among the schools as well as other cost-saving endeavors between the schools. “Sharon is a master at relationship building with employees, vendors and the independent school community. She seeks out meaningful relationships” in every aspect of her work.
Decisive planning: Wolford led campus renovation projects across the lower and middle schools, turf field, innovation lab and student center — “all of which involved complicated decisions regarding the financing of these projects.”
National voice: Wolford has been a board member of Association of Independent Maryland & DC Schools (AIMS), member of the AIMS self-study team and a past presenter at NBOA Annual meetings. “Sharon has set the standard for many business officers around the country and is often the person other business officers call to seek advice on decisions or procedures.”
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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