During this year’s opening meeting for employees, Head of School Bob Henderson ’76 presented the Cora Hidalgo Holland award to Assistant to the Head of School Lauren Overzet.
Cora Holland, mother of Jessica Holland ’97 and Nate Holland ’01, perished in the tragedies of September 11, 2001. Henderson described Cora Holland as “a person with special warmth and openness, [who] went to great lengths to welcome and befriend all the employees of the school with whom she came in contact.”
The award named in her honor, in Henderson’s words, “expresses the deep gratitude of this community to a member of the school staff whose work has been excellent, whose dedication has been exceptional, and whose character has made this a better place in which to live and work for all of us.”
Henderson shared the following remarks about this year’s worthy award winner:
“Lauren is a force of nature. When she sets her mind on something, it gets done and gets done right. So many gatherings, rituals and ceremonies, from graduation to board meetings, she ensures are smooth, elegant and successful. She does this by attending to the details, with an intuitive eye for what will work and what will feel appropriate, and with masterful instincts and talent for organization. She also is hilarious in the process and keeps many of us smiling.
“Lauren maintains the calendar of the school, a task which is thankless and never-ending, but which is essential. For many years the calendar was the bane of the school’s existence, with different versions kept in different offices and on separate software. That process and operation is now, thankfully, centralized in her hands, and Lauren keeps it humming. When I quip to people that it is Lauren who really runs the school, it is because of this ongoing undertaking and because of the long list of other items she takes care of for me, the board of trustees, Board President Beth Reilly, various administrators and all of you.
“Lauren also does her best to be a fully engaged and committed citizen of this community. She led the essential employees’ trip to New Orleans this summer, she sustains the agenda of essential employee meetings, she organized the essential employees’ Magic Bus this summer, and she attended to myriad details in the head of school search process. She goes on EXCEL trips and has advisees. She does her best to live the mission of the school.
“Above all, however, I am endlessly grateful to her for the partnership we have worked out, which she handles with patience, mutual respect and dedication. She is responsive, smart, sees problems and addresses them, puts in the time and energy to ensure excellence, and has boldness, imagination, empathy and exceptional skill in fulfilling her responsibilities.
“There is nobody more deserving of this award and what it represents. Today we express our immense community gratitude by presenting the Cora Hidalgo Holland Award to Lauren Overzet.”