Unsung Hero: Chad Stacy, Dunn School

Stacy’s financial management skills helped the Dunn School eliminate structural deficits, grow the endowment and remodel the school’s budget process.

Oct 12, 2021


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: Dunn School, Los Olivos, California
Years in Position: 11
Years in an independent school business office: 11

Superpower: Business Innovator: Over the past decade, Stacy spearheaded a 232% balance sheet growth, remodeled the school’s budget process, and ended structural deficits. In 2016, Stacy created the financial sustainability heat map, a strategic measurement and accountability tool to help Dunn School achieve its strategic initiatives. He has since presented on the topic of financial sustainability and strategic finance with NBOA, CALISBOA and Vanderbilt University’s Independent School Leadership Masters in Education program.

Calm in a Storm: “To be distinguished, one must be both an exemplar and a capacity builder for their profession — the person that other talented professionals turn to when they are seeking counsel and wisdom. They are the clear communicators during a crisis, the calm during the storm. In my 11 years of partnering with Chad Stacy in the stewardship of Dunn School’s mission, he has displayed all of these traits and more,” said Head of School Mike Beck.

Eye for Sustainability: Stacy leads environmental sustainability initiatives on campus “by smartly allocating resources in ways which lighten our campus carbon footprint, while providing a healthy return on investment.” For instance, Stacy oversaw the solar installation program, which has helped the school achieve 40% solar power.

Other Duties as Assigned: In 2008, Stacey founded Earwig Incorporated, a nationally-recognized high school business program that teaches students to manage the campus café and invest its profits into a fund of the school’s endowment. This endowment fund currently has a balance of $225,000 and a compound annual rate of return of 14.3% over the nearly 10-year period that the students have been investing. Stacy also serves as a backcountry leader for the school’s outdoor education program and as an ultimate frisbee coach.

See a full list of the 2021 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.



years is the target ceiling for a school plant's financial "age."

Get Net Assets NOW

Subscribe to NBOA's free twice-monthly newsletter.