F. Brooke Dunn, Esq., a 1998 graduate of Danville Independent Schools, is Chief Financial Officer for Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County in Indianapolis. She is licensed to practice law in Florida and Indiana. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida, but is transitioning back to Indianapolis.
She serves on the board of directors for the Transylvania University Board of Regents as an adviser to the president, board of directors for the Gene B. Glick Family Housing Foundation and board of directors for Indiana Humanities. Before she joined HHCorp, she was a public finance attorney in Florida and Indiana. She also worked in banking and real estate as a revenue manager. Dunn shared her Danville Schools story.
Q: Tell us about your Danville Schools journey. What school(s) did you attend, and what’s a highlight that stands out to you?
I attended Danville Montessori School, then transitioned to Mary G. Hogsett Primary School for kindergarten. I attended Bate Middle School and Danville High School.
Highlights of my Danville Schools journey include meeting and interacting with diverse students who are still lifelong friends and allowed me to stretch outside my comfort zone. Playing basketball and being a student-athlete is a highlight because prioritizing academic and hard work as an athlete provided me the opportunity to obtain a great education at Transylvania University. This set the foundation for obtaining a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Jurisprudence.
Q: What aspects of your Danville Schools education helped mold you into the person you are today?
My parents’ ability to also be invested and involved with my teachers and coaches molded me into the person I am. Being a student-athlete and the discipline required prepared me for college and corporate America. DHS provided the opportunity to have a diverse group of friends, which also prepared me.
DHS is/was a football school. I saw great athletes who had opportunities to attend college but did not due to mediocre grades or other factors. It was always my goal to attend college on a full scholarship, and I was determined to not be in a position where bad grades robbed me of this. The classroom was always just as important, if not more important, than the basketball court.
Q: When you think back on your Danville Schools experience, are there specific instances or relationships that stand out to you as having had a significant impact on your success since graduating?
I met my best friend in sixth grade. Her parents, Dr. Rick and Jannie Nallinger, have been instrumental in my life. I played high school basketball starting in sixth grade, tore my ACL the summer before my senior year and was crushed to find I would not play my final year. The Nallingers welcomed me into their home while I recovered. Rick insisted I shoot a jump shot the day I left the hospital. They, in addition to my parents and family, refused to allow pity parties. I had bad days, and I remember Jannie calling my dad, my hero, and he came to cheer me up.
I’ve had setbacks and disappointments. I’ve learned to never give up. I have always believed I can do all things through Christ. Thankfully, I was able to attend Transylvania University on a full academic and athletic scholarship.
Growing up in a small community not only provided support and encouragement, but people recognized me from playing basketball and watched the honor roll, which was a big deal and was printed in the Advocate-Messenger. I was shy and introverted, but people I did not know recognized me. I remember my mom insisting I speak when spoken to and show acknowledgement because “people do not have to be nice.” My desire to connect and show gratitude has helped my career.
There are numerous teachers, administrators, coaches, mentors, church family at First Baptist and St. James AME, and friends who impacted my life and I have the utmost respect and appreciation for.
Q: As a product of Danville Schools, what advice would you give to a parent who was choosing an education path for their child?
Get involved in the process. Step out of comfort zones. Take advantage of opportunities to connect with all people. The world is huge, but at the same time, it is small. Explore as much as you can in every way possible, and expose your child to as much as possible. Seeing different things and exposure makes a difference.
Q: As a product of Danville Schools, what drives you to give back to your local school and/or district?
I was once a student who was “given to” by more senior students, through examples they set and by being exposed to their success. Therefore, it has always been important that I give back and pay my blessings forward.
This piece is part of an ongoing series telling the stories of our Danville Alumni! We share a new alumni story once a month, and we want YOUR story. If you or someone you know is a Danville graduate and an excellent representative of the Danville community and the idea of #SuccessForALL, whether they live in Danville or not, please fill out the form linked below. You can also show your Danville Alumni pride on social media with the hashtag #DanvilleAlumniStories
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