About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
Jan. 28, 2007

CASE Names 2007 Independent Schools Award Winners

PHILADELPHIA, PA.—The Council for Advancement and Support of Education today announced the winners of its 2007 Independent Schools Awards. The recipients—three individuals and one corporation—were selected for their extraordinary commitment to primary and secondary independent education.

The awards will be presented today during the opening ceremonies of the 37th annual CASE•NAIS Independent Schools Conference being held Jan. 28-30 in Philadelphia.

The four award winners are:

  • Don Hill, assistant head of school for external affairs at Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pa. Hill is this year's recipient of the Robert Bell Crow Memorial Award, which salutes a school advancement professional for dedication to an institution and the profession. For the past 29 years, Hill has led Mercersburg’s advancement efforts, creating a competitive program that has raised nearly $200 million. Under his guidance, the school’s fundraising operations consistently rank among the top independent secondary schools in America. In 2005, Mercersburg had the highest overall giving rate per student among its peer institutions.
  • Lewis S. Somers III, overseer of the William Penn Charter School, a college preparatory day school in Philadelphia, Pa. Somers is the recipient of the Seymour Preston Award, which honors a trustee who has provided exceptional leadership to his or her institution. Somers, a 1944 graduate of Penn Charter, has served as a board member of the Quaker school since 1973, including a six-year term as clerk. He also served as national chair of the institution’s recently concluded capital campaign, which surpassed its $40 million goal. Somers’ personal gifts to the campaign exceeded $3 million.
  • Jasmine Karasoulas, office manager for the development office of The Chapin School, a leading K-12 school for young women in New York City. Karasoulas is this year's winner of the Support Staff Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes exceptional commitment to a school by a member of the support staff. Karasoulas has been an administrative staff member in the school’s development office for eight years, supporting fundraising, alumnae relations and the production of special events and school publications. She was recognized for her meticulous attention to detail, strong work ethic and unflappable manner and being one of the greatest contributors to the school’s advancement program.
  • American Honda Motor Company Inc. of Torrance, Calif., is the winner of the John R. Chandler Award, which recognizes the long-term contributions of a corporation or foundation to independent schools. American Honda Motor Co. was nominated by Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, Colo., for its support of the year-round high school for troubled teens since the school’s formation in 1993. Eagle Rock is funded solely by American Honda through its American Honda Education Corp. The company is also the sole provider of financial support to a professional development center that provides information about Eagle Rock’s programs related to re-engaging struggling students.

John Lippincott, president of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, says the 2007 award winners have all made extraordinary contributions to independent schools and to the independent school sector.

"These remarkable recipients set the bar of excellence through their contributions to independent schools,” Lippincott says. “Their service makes independent schools stronger and more dynamic and ensures they will endure for generations of students to come.”

Recipients of the CASE Independent Schools Awards are selected from an international pool of nominees. The awards honor individuals and corporations or foundations for their commitment to primary and secondary education. Winners receive a Steuben crystal award and are recognized by their peers at the CASE•NAIS Independent Schools Conference held each year in January.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.

About NAIS
The National Association of Independent Schools represents about 1,300 independent schools and associations in the United States and abroad. NAIS's mission is to serve and strengthen member schools and associations by articulating and promoting high standards of educational quality and ethical behavior; to work to preserve their independence to serve the democratic society from which that independence derives; and to advocate broad access for students by affirming the principles of diversity, choice, and opportunity.