Grant Hesser, Friend of Dohn Community High School

Aug 18, 2017 | Community Partners

Grant Hesser is a long-time Friend of Dohn Community High School.  His first association with our school began in 2003 when Kate Bower, our Founder, recruited him as an independent contractor. At the time, all classes were held in the annex building because the main building was not inhabitable. Mr. Hesser oversaw the renovation of the first floor of our Main Campus building into the high functioning capacity we enjoy today.

Soon after working with him, Superintendent Bower invited Mr. Hesser to join the Board of Trustees. In those early days and today, he helps recruit other Board Members. “We struggled with low enrollment, teacher retention and school finances in those early days. Every several months, the Board had to vote on whether or not to close the school.”

The Board Turns Things Around

Along with the classroom move into the main building, two other factors, guided by the Board of Directors, helped play a part in a positive turn around. The education model changed from addiction recovery to dropout recovery. This shift helped with the challenge of enrollment. The other turnaround factor was the hiring of Kenneth Furrier as School Superintendent. “Immediately, things got better,” Mr. Hesser reports, and “steadily the school grew.” Finances stabilized, and so did teacher retention.

“I would like to see every student graduate and become self-sufficient. No different than what I would want for myself and my family,”

In the summer of 2016, Mr. Hesser advised the Board on different aspects of the renovation of the second floor of our Main Campus building. To anyone who has not yet seen it, the second floor houses a high-ceilinged, window-lit cafeteria, our school library, classrooms and office space.

Mr. Hesser was a commercial contractor for thirty years in Cincinnati. Eighteen years ago he started his own business as an Owner’s Representative for commercial construction projects. The name of his company is PDSC Corp. Mr. Hesser marketed to non-profits because he determined that that market was underserved in our community. His philosophy is to represent his client’s best interest and generally he becomes seamless in his interaction with the Owner’s staff.  When he sees a problem, he finds a solution. Once non-profits work with Mr. Hesser, many have invited him to join their Board.

An Illustrious, Generous Community Leader

Currently, Mr. Hesser serves on numerous community non-profit Boards, including ours.  He was on the Board of the Children’s Theatre for 25 years; he has chaired the Beech Acres Board, as well as the Greater Cincinnati YMCA Board. He has overseen the capital development projects for the Freestore Food Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio. He serves on the Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services Board, as well as the Walnut Hills High School Alumni Foundation Board and the Cincinnati State Foundation Board. He has been a member of the Cincinnatus Panel for 20 years. He serves on the Boy Scout Advisory Board, several Bethesda Boards and other Business related Boards.

Visioning the Future

When asked about what he sees as our school’s core challenge, he identifies the issue of attendance. He praises our Director, Ramone Davenport, for creative problem-solving approaches to this central challenge, such as our Street Teams. He recognizes, however, how thorny a problem attendance is for our student body. He, along with our Director and other Board Members, continue to hold the challenge of attendance as a major focus.

When asked about his vision for the school, Mr. Hesser, shares “I would like to see every student graduate and become self-sufficient. No different than what I would want for myself and my family,” he adds. Mr. Hesser has attended almost every Dohn graduation throughout his 14-year association with Dohn Community High School

An illustrious, generous, Cincinnati Community leader, we are honored to have Mr. Hesser as a long-serving member of our Board of Trustees.  We are grateful for his many years of devoted service to Dohn Community High School and rely on his wise care in the guidance of our school.