News Post

Dionne Brelsford Wins Inaugural Maura Farrell Award for Ingenuity

On June 4, Dionne Brelsford, Director of Programs and WT Parent and Alumnae/i Parent, was named the inaugural recipient of the Maura Farrell Award for Ingenuity. Head of School Gary J. Niels presented the award to Brelsford, surrounded by faculty, staff, administration, Board President Jennifer Gonzalez McComb '89, and parent volunteers, at the Parents Association Faculty and Staff Appreciation Luncheon.

The Maura Farrell Award for Ingenuity was established on May 29, 2018 by Gary Niels and the Board of Trustees in recognition of and appreciation for Associate Head for Strategic and External Affairs Maura Farrell's sixteen years of exemplary service. Farrell, who began working at WT in 2002 as the Director of Communications, is known for her diligence, commitment, thoroughness, and grit. Driven by her desire to create, innovate, learn, and inspire, Farrell led the school through two multi-million dollar capital campaigns and the evolution of the school's reputation and brand.

"There could be no more fitting inaugural recipient of the Maura Farrell Award for Ingenuity than Dionne Brelsford, who personifies creativity, resourcefulness, and possibility," declared Niels.


(L-R): Dionne Brelsford, Gary J. Niels, and Maura Farrell.

Brelsford, who has been an administrator since 2006, tirelessly served Winchester Thurston School first as Director of Annual Giving and then as Director of Programs, creating and carrying forward a vision of being a "home away from home" for students, parents, alumnae/i, and the community. She is known for her warm energy, bright smile, and caring ways that draw in everyone she meets, and for being a "master of connection." She connects ideas, connects people, and connects WT to the community.

"Dionne's rare combination of strategic vision, agile execution, kindness, enthusiasm for all things WT, and tenacious appetite for more are the embodiment of the Maura Farrell Award for Ingenuity," concluded Niels.

The award is presented annually to a member of the staff or administration in recognition of his or her demonstration of ingenuity, creativity, and imaginative tactics in advancing the school, while embodying the essence of Winchester Thurston's Mission and credo.