2017 Outstanding Service Award Recipient

Mrs. Karen Burnell



Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Karen Burnell

Business Administrator, SAU #81

The New Hampshire School Administrators Association is pleased to announce Mrs. Karen Burnell, Business Administrator for the Hudson School District, SAU #81, as the 2017 Outstanding Service Award winner.

The NHSAA Outstanding Service Award was instituted in 1994 as an important form of recognition for the exceptional work of system educational leaders who are not superintendents of schools. Annually, members are invited to nominate colleagues for consideration by the selection committee. The judging committee uses criteria that include the individual's contribution to the educational achievement of his or her SAU, organizational improvement, initiative, professional growth, and service to public education.

Karen has over thirty-five years of experience in municipal finance, starting in the town of Hudson as the town accountant. Her career with the Hudson School District began in 1985 as the district accountant. She advanced to become the finance director, and in July of 2010 was promoted to business administrator.

Phyllis Schlichter, Ph.D., interim superintendent of the Hudson School District stated, “Karen has often served as a mentor to SAU employees and district administrators who are charged with developing a fiscally responsible budget that can be defended to community stakeholders. Teamwork is at the heart of her efforts within the district.”

Lawrence Russell, Jr., director of special services in SAU #81, remarked, “Karen is able to answer any question or find the answer to any complex problem that interferes with the effort to improve the instruction process in our district. Karen researches ways to make the Board of Education’s and superintendent’s vision for improving instruction a reality and then put a plan in place that produces that outcome.”

Mary Wilson, SAU #81’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, commented, “Mrs. Burnell is always available to consult with our policies, RSAs and Rules for State of New Hampshire. Her extensive knowledge has helped in more than one difficult situation. She is always putting the learning of the Hudson community first, she has been instrumental in finding ways to fund critical and necessary programs of supports for students and their families. She is the finest Business Administrator I have had the pleasure of knowing!”

Karen lives in Hudson with her husband David. Her daughter Heather, and her son Timothy live in Hudson as well, with their families.

All members of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association join in congratulating Karen on her outstanding leadership and work on behalf of SAU #81 and the state of New Hampshire.