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.
Title: Chief Financial Officer
School: Boulder Country Day School, Boulder, Colorado
Years in Position: 11
Years in an independent school business office: 15
Superpower: Facilities guru: Among her contributions to the school’s operations, Tewey built up a Provision for Plant Replacement, Renewal and Special Maintenance (PPRRSM) reserve, created a project spreadsheet to track maintenance issues and estimate cost, and positioned the school to accommodate future facilities repairs, replacements and expenditures.
When tasked with purchasing new lighting for all the buildings on campus, Tewey extensively researched the best options to allow for specific lighting preferences in each room. “She managed the entire process, from scheduling the installation to obtaining the energy credits to developing instructions and training all employees on how to use the remotes and lights,” said a colleague. Currently, Tewey is overseeing the construction of a new dining hall on campus.
Solutions finder: Tewey was instrumental in helping secure a PPP loan during the pandemic when the school’s long-time bank was unable to accommodate the school’s application. Tewey instead communicated with her contact at a local bank that was able to help the school attain the loan. “Without her commitment to the school, and exploring all avenues, we may not have received this funding, which could have jeopardized the school’s ability to operate,” said one colleague.
Benefits pro: Each year during benefits renewal, Tewey “provides employees with multiple options so that we can analyze which will be the best for the employees, both in price and in benefits.” She was also instrumental in the addition of a short-term disability plan that is paid for entirely by the school. “Ann-Marie is a great listener and asks informative and thought-provoking questions that shows she is engaged and contemplating all aspects of employee benefits.”
Expert advice: Tewey has been a CPA for over 34 years and is described as “an expert in tax and accounting issues … who is not afraid to tackle any problem presented to her.”