On the surface, it was your standard dedication ceremony for a remodeled gym -- a celebratory atmosphere with music, cheerleaders, and students.
But to those who knew Art Hanby, it was so much more. It was an opportunity to recognize his kindness and generosity, and honor his legacy.
Hanby, the district’s former Strategic Sourcing and Contracts Officer, passed away in December 2016. He had developed a special relationship with Kearny High School after supervising a Kearny student in a district internship program in 2007. He was still mentoring this student until his passing.
“He was such a kind, thoughtful and humble man that didn’t need to talk about what he did because his actions spoke for him,” said Kearny High Principal Ana Diaz-Booz.
For example, he and his wife donated money to a college scholarship at Kearny targeting seniors that had overcome adversity. He also visited Kearny often to speak directly with students and staff to ensure that district contracts were serving the school's needs.
Those in the business community with whom Hanby worked were also touched by his kindness and integrity.
U.S. Communities, a government purchasing cooperative, was one organization Hanby worked with often. They were appreciative of all he did for their organization and thought so highly of him that their foundation donated $50,000 to help fund the gym remodel in his honor. The remodel included new flooring, bleachers, paint, lighting, athletic equipment and scoreboards – one that now displays the words “Dedicated in honor of Art Hanby.”
“Art Hanby was a tremendous gentleman. He was always all about the best for the students in the district and was always respectful of taxpayer dollars,” said Rob Fiorilli, program manager for U.S. Communities, “He was a man that was so giving and so generous, never wanted any type of recognition, was always in the background, but he wanted to make sure that all the students in the district, his staff and other employees all had the products and services they needed to help educate the students to the best of their abilities.”
Hanby, who led the district’s Procurement department for more than 16 years, helped save the district millions through his belief and practice in innovation sourcing. It is through this belief that the Strategic Sourcing and Contracts department is able to continually deliver supplies and services to students and staff quickly and at the best value. Under his leadership, the district was recognized year-after-year with the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award from the National Procurement Institute.
“Do you know who he worked for?” Superintendent Cindy Marten asked the attendees. “You guys – the students. He had national recognition across the entire industry of procurement. He didn’t just make a difference here; he made a difference across the entire industry of public procurement.
“Art Hanby left a legacy that we should all aspire to. He set the bar and the example for every one of the employees that work in this district to remember who we work for and to work with that type of integrity and dedication to deliver and support you, our students, in the highest and best way possible,” Marten said.