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: New Hampton School, New Hampton, New Hampshire
Years in Position: 26
Years in an independent school business office: 26
Superpower: Professional innovator: Duncan has a collaborative style of leadership, often seeking partnership with other business officers to launch a new idea or innovative concept. For example, Duncan was instrumental in forming the Captivated Health consortium, a joint effort with nine neighboring schools to collectively manage health insurance. The program has experienced exponential growth and cost savings for New Hampton School since its inception, according to Kathleen Howe, former Director of Finance at New Hampton School, now CFO at the Tilton School.
Tough and steady: Duncan exudes calm, even during the pandemic, and is considered a strong, discreet and quiet leader. “She models her work ethic by her ‘gets to’ attitude — she gets to contribute every day, mentor others in their professional endeavors and listen to others,” said Howe.
Knowledge-seeker: Duncan is known for asking questions in pursuit of knowledge. “The courage to ask the questions is one of the traits I most admire about her,” said Howe.
Outside the business office: In her spare time, Duncan serves on multiple nonprofit boards, including Speare Memorial Hospital, the New Hampshire Health and Education Facilities Authority, and the National Advisory Council for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association.
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.