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Bucs Hero: Melanie Dennis Always Has a Smile

Melanie Dennis has worked at Country Day for eight years, the past seven as administrative assistant to the Head of Upper School. Warm and friendly, often funny, Melanie touches a myriad of programs, projects, and events that keep the Upper School humming along.

At the end of the 2022–23 school year, she was presented with the Upper School’s Frank F. Justice Award. Named after longtime retired administrator Frank Justice, the award is given “to the member of the Upper School community who exhibits loyalty, integrity, humility, compassion, and a nurturing response toward others regardless of the challenge.”

Head of Upper School Matt Less, says “Melanie keeps our lives in order and she does it with a smile. She’s a connector for the kids and the parents and just always pleasant and caring to all. I truly value her commitment to her work and the upbeat attitude she brings to our office.”

Get to know a little more about Melanie. This regular feature is designed to highlight the many staff members across campus making an impact for our school.

Melanie Dennis


Describe your role as Upper School Administrative Assistant? How do you support the Upper School team?

My main role is to support Matt and the Upper School Administration team. I assist with scheduling, budgeting, absences, purchasing, interview scheduling for potential new hires, photography, you name it. I help plan for most of the Upper School events–from Parents’ Night and Spirit Week to all the Commencement Week activities. I schedule all the admissions interviews and tours for prospective Upper School students and assist the Upper School faculty with their day-to-day needs, such as scheduling substitutes as needed.

What project makes you the proudest?

The Upper School Planner takes a great deal of time. I usually get started on it in February and work on it continuously through multiple proofs until it goes to the printer in July. This is really my project from beginning to end, and I get a lot of satisfaction knowing that faculty and students rely on it for their planning during the school year.

What do you like most about your job?

I really like that every day is different. I never have a day when I don’t have something to do, which I love! I enjoy the interactions with the team, faculty, students, and parents. I love to laugh, and I enjoy the banter we have. I feel very lucky to work here with such great people.

In what ways do you help build community?

I’m a central point of contact for parents. If they have a question or need to set up a meeting, they can come to me. I’m there to help them and provide general information and guidance.  

How do you like to spend your free time?

For those who don’t know, I’m married to Ian Dennis, who teaches English in the Middle School. We have two boys, Drew and Matthew, and two fur boys, Charlie and Dudley. We spend most fall weekends on the sidelines at the Wake Forest football games where Matthew is the kicker, and Drew comes along to cheer on his brother. We love to walk every day with our dogs and enjoy working out together.  Ian and I love to travel and are always planning our next vacation.


Melanie with family at Wake Forest