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: Vice President of Finance
School: Skutt Catholic High School, Omaha, Nebraska
Years in current position: 5
Years in an independent school business office: 5
Changemaker: Clatanoff oversaw the shift to a net tuition revenue model at her school, which resulted in “an upward trend in enrollment and overall positive culture shift for our school and board,” said Skutt Catholic Memorial President Jeremy Moore. She “has transformed her position into a position of change, putting in the work to make sure we are changing for the better at Skutt Catholic.”
Accomplished: Clatanoff came to Skutt Catholic from the private sector and jumped into nonprofit school accounting and business operations with confidence. Her accomplishments include a completed $5 million capital campaign with a 99% pledge fulfillment — all done during the pandemic. She also graduated from the NBOA Leadership Academy in 2022. “I can't think of anyone who has accomplished more in their first five years in the educational setting,” said Moore.
Analytical thinker: When it comes to finding solutions for complex problems, Clatanoff “doesn't just dig in and eat — she analyzes the plate, what is on it and how it will make her (the school) feel. Sometimes she requires me to change the ingredients before she eats what is on the plate. That is a sign of someone that you can trust, someone that you know will do the best job possible, and someone who will challenge you to be the best you can be so they can be the best they can be,” said Moore.
Trusted partner: “I can trust [Clatanoff] with projects, family financial data and HR matters, and know that it will remain professional and confidential,” said Moore.