Gunston’s Head of School John Lewis has been selected to join a small cohort of experienced national and international school heads for the 2021 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’s goal is 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 12th year at Gunston, Lewis’s tenure has seen robust enrollment growth, significant enhancement in facilities, the development of the Horizons and YMCA summer programs, curricular innovation, and in 2018, the launch of the Chesapeake Watershed Semester. Prior to Gunston, Lewis served in various teaching and leadership roles at Ranney School in New Jersey, as well as at international schools in Singapore and Ecuador.
“The board of trustees was excited to learn of John’s acceptance to the Klingenstein Fellowship Program,” said Gunston’s Chair of the Board Patrick Shoemaker ’03. “Given John’s steady commitment to professional development, both for himself and his academic team, we are delighted that he will have this opportunity to experience such a renowned program. In addition to bringing back experiences learned during the fellowship, we’re hopeful that John will be able to share what he’s learned transforming Gunston over the past decade with other participants.”
“I’ve always hoped to have the opportunity to do this fellowship,” shared Lewis, “and I was humbled and excited to be selected. When I was a master’s student at Teachers College in 2002-2003, one of the most engaging experiences I had involved working with the Klingenstein Visiting Heads.
A key part of the Klingenstein Program is the opportunity to explore specific questions related to their own specific interests and 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.
“In my application,” explained Lewis, “I shared that I wanted to explore some of these questions: How can I support an increasingly diverse student, family and colleague population? What are the key technology and workplace changes that will impact schools moving forward? How are the most innovative schools structuring themselves to support student learning? And specifically to Gunston, how can we sustain a ‘sustainability mindset’ so that students are prepared to navigate a world in ecological crisis?”
Founded in 1911, The Gunston School is an independent, nonprofit, nonsectarian, coeducational, college preparatory high school located in Centreville, Maryland. Visit gunston.org for more information.