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Kingswood Oxford Appoints New Head of Upper School

Dr. Dan Gleason has been named head of Kingswood Oxford's Upper School. Courtesy photo

Dr. Dan Gleason has been appointed head of the Upper School at Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford.

Submitted by Jackie Pisani, Kingswood Oxford School

Dr. Dan Gleason has been named the new Head of the Upper School at Kingswood Oxford School, effective July 1, 2019.

Gleason brings a diverse array of both teaching and administrative experience in schools. A highly collaborative leader, he specializes in curricular improvement and professional development and is a passionate advocate of experiential education and project-based learning.

Gleason comes to KO from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, IL, where he serves as the English Department Chair, establishing and implementing the department’s curricular, instruction and assessment vision. While chair, he initiated cooperative learning, blended learning, and competency-based education. Prior to that position, Gleason was the director of academic programs at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a magnet school in Aurora, IL, for gifted students.

Head of School Tom Dillow said, “I am thrilled to have Dan’s thoughtful and innovative approach to education as we develop our strategic plan. He values authentic learning for our students and understands that students learn best when they develop meaningful connections to their teachers and have greater ownership over what they are learning.”

At KO, Gleason will help explore curricular, pedagogical and programmatic initiatives that will create new opportunities for students’ learning. In this role, Gleason will lead the faculty through these new initiatives while continuing to honor KO’s tradition of academic excellence so that students can reach their fullest potential.

Gleason said, “I can’t wait to join the Kingswood Oxford community!  When I visited KO, I was of course impressed by the beautiful, well-resourced campus, but I was even more impressed by the thoughtfulness, energy, and commitment of the faculty, staff, and students. I had many engaging conversations with staff members, teachers, and administrators who think deeply about their work and are committed to designing and supporting incredible experiences for students.  Common themes I heard were the importance of collaboration and the value of thoughtful innovation, two principles that I care deeply about. 

“As I made classroom visits, I talked with students and was taken by their focus and ability to articulate their intellectual goals and achievements – I heard quite a bit about the senior literary analysis paper, which is such a great challenge, and I got the chance to see students using mathematical modeling to predict the end of oil reserves around the globe.  It was wonderful to talk with such bright, motivated students!

“As I think about moving into a leadership position at KO, I am excited to honor the traditions of the institution and also build on the culture of innovation that keeps the institution fresh.” 

Gleason holds a Ph.D. in 20th century English literature from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in educational administration and leadership from the University of Illinois. He attended Pomona College as an undergraduate where he majored in English.

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