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Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Head of School Rik Dugan has been selected to join a small cohort of experienced national and international school heads for the 2023 Klingenstein Head of School Fellowship in late January. The highly-selective program grants admission to just 20 heads of school annually and offers a fully-funded, two-week fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City.
The Klingenstein program aims to offer veteran heads of school an intensive and inspirational mid-career professional development experience focusing on current educational issues, educational philosophy and ethics, and reflective practice. Throughout the program, the visiting heads engage in design thinking and case study work with Klingenstein master’s students and visit independent schools in New York City to observe a variety of programs and ideas.
Now in his eighth year at Princeton Academy, Dugan’s tenure has seen the building of a shared vision through an inclusive strategic planning process that welcomed the voices of all community members, significant program enhancements, healthy annual giving, and the prioritization of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to Princeton Academy, Dugan served in various teaching and leadership roles at the Delbarton School and Far Hills Country Day School in New Jersey, as well as leading youth leadership institutes in Connecticut and Costa Rica.
“Princeton Academy’s Board of Trustees were proud to learn of Rik’s acceptance to the Klingenstein fellowship program,” states Nikki Sheetz Frith, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Rik has spent his entire career building other people up and prioritizing their professional development. We are all thrilled to support him in this moment.” Sheetz Frith continues, “His spirit and energy are unmatched and we look forward to what he will bring back and share with our community.”
“I have always hoped to have the honor of participating in this fellowship program, and I am humbled and honored to be selected for the 2023 cohort,” shares Dugan. “Mentors and colleagues of mine have shared the power of their Klingenstein HOS Fellowship experiences with me, and I look forward to immersing myself in this professional experience.” Dugan began his master's in the educational leadership program at Columbia University’s Teachers College as a member of the 2002 Klingenstein Summer Institute Fellowship Cohort and looks back on that transformational experience as a catalyst in his career as a school leader. “Today, I am honored to represent Princeton Academy, and I am inspired to engage in this next Klingenstein experience, transferring my growth as a leader back to Princeton Academy,” states Dugan.
A key part of the Klingenstein program is the opportunity to explore specific questions related to a school head’s own specific interests and their school community. The Klingenstein Center at Teachers College at Columbia University was founded in 1977, and it is the premier center for academic research, education, and training of independent school teachers and leaders. The Center currently has over 4,000 alumni serving in 49 states and 60 countries.
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