About CASE

Pam Russell
Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
Jan. 20, 2015

Three Independent Schools Professionals Honored for Service

NEW ORLEANS—A fundraiser who established a culture of philanthropy at his institution, a trustee who led an expansion effort at hers and a database professional who helps train fellow staffers are the recipients of the 2015 Independent Schools Awards.

The recipients will be honored Jan. 26 during an awards presentation at the 45th Annual CASE-NAIS Independent Schools Conference in New Orleans.   

John P. Gannon received the Robert Bell Crow Memorial Award, which recognizes advancement professionals for their distinguished service to the profession, their school and CASE. Gannon currently serves as director of development and alumni affairs at the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York.  

Gannon began at Hackley in 1999 and was director of the Centennial Campaign, which raised more than $50 million-10 times as much as Hackley's previous campaign. Now, he is leading the Legacy Campaign, which is nearing its $90 million goal. In addition, Hackley's annual fund has grown each year since Gannon's arrival. Apart from fundraising, Gannon founded Hackley's Network Initiative Program, which helps connect students, alumni and parents to help all achieve professional success.  

Walter C. Johnson, Hackley's headmaster, wrote in his nomination letter that hiring Gannon was "one of the best and most consequential decisions" of his two-decade tenure, noting that Gannon has established and nurtured a robust culture of philanthropy at the institution.  

Eileen Van Houten received the Seymour Preston Award, which honors trustees for providing exceptional leadership to an institution. Van Houten has served on the board of trustees at The Oakwood School in Greenville, North Carolina, for seven years and twice as board president.  

Van Houten's relationship with The Oakwood School began in 2002 when her daughter was in the fifth grade. At the time, Oakwood was a K-8 school. Soon after, Van Houten joined the board, chaired a search committee for a new head of school and led an effort to expand the institution to include grades 9-12. The upper school opened in 2006, and Van Houten's daughter was part of its first graduating class in 2009. In the years since, Van Houten has returned to the board, led a campus building expansion project and bolstered efforts to diversify the school's student population.  

Robert R. Peterson, Oakwood's head of school, wrote in his nomination letter that Van Houten is "by far the most outstanding" of the 12 presidents or board chairs that he has worked for in his career. He added, "She is a visionary and a hard worker."  

Paulette Bassil received the Support Staff Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a support staff member for long-term service to a school's advancement team. Bassil currently serves as director of data management and donor research at Saint Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Florida.  

Bassil has worked at Saint Andrew's for 15 years, all the while elevating the institution's ability to raise money with the breadth and depth of her knowledge of data management. She has long served as a resource to staff members throughout the school, teaching others to master and integrate their database systems. Outside of her day job, Bassil is a valuable member of the school's resident life community.  

Peter J. Gallo, associate headmaster for development at Saint Andrew's, wrote in his nomination letter that Bassil is "intelligent, intuitive, a people person and motivated, understanding fully what skills are necessary to be successful in any capacity in database management and beyond."

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.

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