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 2020 recipients. Stay tuned to NetAssets.org for additional profiles.
Title: Chief Operations OfficerSchool: Ben Bronz Academy, West Hartford, ConnecticutYears in position: 6Years in an independent school business office: 10
Superpower: Change maker: Devin was a key player in the decision to transition Ben Bronz Academy from a private company, established in 1983, to a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, following the retirement of the school’s founders in 2015. Devin worked to determine the best course of action to ensure the school’s mission would move forward under new leadership and oversaw the legal and operational components of the transition, all while in his first year at the school.
It takes courage: In 2018, Devin’s ability to successfully manage a surplus at the end of previous school years allowed the school, which had been leasing a small, shared building, to move into a larger building exclusive to the school. “Moving a school that had been in the same location for over 30 years was a courageous move,” said Executive Director and CEO Kim Holley. “Jason knew that it would allow us to grow our business but, more importantly, it would have a positive impact of the education of our students for years to come.”
Cultural historian: “Jason knows the intricacies of the organization from his years of experience at the school… and shares the history of the organization regularly,” said Holley. Devin also keeps in touch with the founders of the school, keeping them connected and involved. “Jason’s knowledge of the Ben Bronz Academy alone would impress anyone.”
Always humble: “Jason never expects any recognition for his performance and sees himself as ‘just doing his job,’” which includes banking, finances, human resources and IT. “As chief operating officer in a small school, Jason’s role encompasses a number of responsibilities that would typically be staffed in a bigger institution. He works tirelessly to ensure that all components of his job are done efficiently and well.”
Seasoned staff member: Devin started his tenure at Ben Bronz Academy as assistant business manager and has since filled the roles of business manager and chief operating officer. “Jason has ‘climbed the ladder’ in this organization by successfully proving his worth … and always trying to better himself. His ability to self-assess and process constructive criticism has allowed him to grow and improve.”
See a full list of the 2020 recipients and read more about the Will J. Hancock Unsung Hero Award. Net Assets will post additional profiles of Unsung Heroes throughout the summer and fall — check in to learn more about other recipients.
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