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Molly McGee Hewitt: Recognizing a 

Leader for the Times

A Word From...


by Julie Phillips Randles

"It is entirely fitting that, in a year filled with challenges so many of us couldn’t conceive of in January, Molly McGee Hewitt, Ph.D., CAE, was named CASBO’s Pinnacle Award winner for 2020.

The Pinnacle Award is presented annually to a CASBO member who, through personal sacrifice for the benefit of the entire CASBO membership, has served in a leadership capacity and earned a statewide reputation for that service.

That’s the ultimate description of Molly.

With her July 31 retirement as CASBO CEO & Executive Director, Molly has steered the association to a place where we can continue to build on the great work she accomplished, along with the team she built, during her decade of leadership.

Perhaps the hallmark of Molly’s tenure at CASBO was ensuring the association is authentically member-driven, an idea she touted since the day she walked into the executive director’s office on K Street in Sacramento in 2010.

Molly was consistently accessible to the membership, attending as many events as possible at the section level and extending her signature wave to those she hadn’t yet reached. She showed up, in person, by school leaders’ sides, to be an asset, a partner, a mentor and a friend with an encouraging word.

“Molly brought CASBO to a more personal level. In associations, sometimes members feel like the CEO is unreachable. She is so personable, and she was able to bring CASBO home to members,” says CASBO President Jamie Dial. “Besides the professional accomplishments related to strategic planning, advocacy and professional learning, Molly made CASBO a truly member-driven organization where members feel important and have a voice,” Dial adds.

And that’s just one of many accomplishments during her tenure. Molly also emphasized the importance of strategic planning that will guide the organization into a successful future; solidified CASBO’s advocacy status, leading policymakers to reach out to CASBO for information and advice when making decisions; established a culture of collaboration throughout the organization; and kept all things — from Annual Conference to training to section events — fresh and fun.

If you don’t believe it, take a look at our video tribute to Molly, which clearly shows her in her element with many of her fellow CASBOdians!


The wealth of Molly's contributions to CASBO detailed above are just the short list. Past CASBO President Nina Boyd notes that Molly also checked these boxes:

  • Expanded leadership development and certificate programs for school business leaders.

  • Increased professional training opportunities statewide.

  • Increased awareness of diversity and equity issues.

  • Developed strategic initiatives with the board to increase revenue and investments, and thus CASBO’s financial sustainability. 

  • Championed participation and leadership development internationally through ASBO International.

On a personal level, Molly is recognized as a lifelong learner. She recently finished both her master’s in school business and her Ph.D. She's an avid reader, often completing a book a day. She’s also thoughtful and generous, as evidenced by the many CASBO staff and member-leader meals she hosted and her habit of creating special gift bags for them, too, always supported by her husband, Peter. She’s consistently focused on life’s important celebrations, including marriages, births and graduations, never failing to contribute to those milestone events in thoughtful and meaningful ways.

And, of course, she’s witty and has a sense of humor that tickled members and staff alike!

Perhaps Dial said it best: “She’s an amazing woman with so many talents. We were blessed and thankful to have had Molly at the helm for as long as we did!”

Molly leaves CASBO in a stellar position to be successful, and we will always be grateful for her leadership — and we will welcome her visits to future CASBO events to hear about the new experiences and lessons she’s embracing in this next phase of her life.

And, at one of those not-too-distant events, we look forward to celebrating Molly, her Pinnacle Award, and her career-long support of school leaders and students!"

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