Dallas, Texas – In her tenure of nearly a decade with the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), Dena Dutchover has ascended to a pivotal role as a coordinator within the Risk Management Department, a specialized unit operating under the aegis of Financial Services. Her remit encompasses the astute identification and preemptive neutralization of a panoply of operational risks that could potentially imperil the educational institution’s functionality.
Dallas ISD’s Risk Management Department is a part of Financial Services and monitors district’s operational risks
Serving as a linchpin in the intricately woven fabric of Dallas ISD’s bureaucratic machinery, the Risk Management Department is entrusted with a multifaceted mandate: not merely identifying but also rigorously evaluating, proficiently treating, and continuously monitoring an array of risks that span the operational spectrum. Dutchover’s portfolio is commensurately diverse, covering such complex domains as unemployment claims processed through the Texas Workforce Commission, vendor insurance intricacies, and the administration of driving safety protocols.
Moreover, the Risk Management team’s purview extends beyond mere fiscal and operational concerns to embrace an eclectic range of issues that include cybersecurity, workers’ compensation, athletic programs, and property insurance, among others. This holistic approach to risk management underscores the team’s commitment to safeguarding not only the district’s material assets but also its human capital and intellectual property.
A stalwart advocate for preemptive safety measures, Dutchover has, for the better part of a decade, been diligently orchestrating fire safety initiatives across the district. Collaborating closely with the Campus Safety Team, School Leadership, and various ancillary departments, she facilitates regular training sessions focused on fire drill protocols and persistently monitors compliance to ensure that the critical issue of fire safety remains at the forefront of institutional awareness.
“When you’re in a role in education, you’re there for a reason,” Dutchover said. “You’re there to make a difference, and it has been incredible to work with so many people and see all the effects our work is having across the city.”
One of most memorable moments for Dutchover is her response during the pandemic and supporting the students
Among the more indelible chapters in Dena Dutchover’s tenure with the Dallas Independent School District was her indefatigable response during the incipient stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the tide of unemployment claims surged to what she described as “high volume,” Dutchover found herself navigating an intricate labyrinth of misinformation that had enveloped many claimants. These individuals were frequently confounded by the procedural nuances requisite for accessing essential resources and support.
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Such was the exigency of the situation that Dutchover recounted laboring until the wee hours of 2:30 a.m. on numerous occasions, grappling with a formidable backlog of 75-plus claims slated for imminent processing.
“It was back to back, and it was like that for months. I was really pushing myself when it came to my work, but I was determined to do it. It was my success story,” Dutchover said.
Dutchover’s unswerving dedication to her role is not simply a function of professional obligation; it is deeply rooted in a familial tradition of educational advocacy. Descending from a venerable lineage of educators, she views her work not merely as a job, but as a moral imperative to pave the way for student success. Dutchover effuses about the sheer ardor with which she approaches her multifaceted role, citing the collaborative synergy she shares with her team and cross-departmental colleagues as a recurrent source of professional gratification.
“It takes a village, so to anyone in the district, just know that we are thankful for having those partnerships because they are important,” she said. “My team is a whole other family. I don’t want to get teary-eyed, but we spend the majority of our waking hours at work, so it’s super important to be happy with the people you’re around. A smile is contagious, and they’re easy to find with a team like this one.”
To learn more about the work the Risk Management team is doing, click this link.
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