Gleason to be new Director of Upper School


The search committee and Head of School Thomas Dillow recently appointed Dr. Dan Gleason as the new director of the Upper School, who will be joining KO on July 1, 2019.

The search committee, comprised of administrators and faculty, worked alongside Carney Sandoe & Associates to hire a leader who is committed to curricular leadership and innovation, student leadership, professional growth and learning, as well as diversity and inclusion.

A total of 60 people applied for the position, and the agency screened them, before providing the search committee with around 20 candidates. The committee then read through their resumes and chose 10 people to video conference with. After that, the committee invited four people to campus to spend a day at KO and meet the community. The committee then collectively recommended Dr. Gleason to Mr. Dillow, who offered him the position.

Dr. Gleason has a diverse background in administrative and teaching experience. He has a Master’s degree in education administration and a PhD in English. He served as the Director of Academic Programs at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, which is a selective residential magnet school. He is currently the English Department Chair at Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Interim Director of the Upper School Carolyn McKee said that Dr. Gleason seemed very thoughtful and intelligent. “He has had lots of experience with curricular work,” she said. “He’s someone who would naturally fit into this role and community.”

Mr. Dillow said he agreed that Dr. Gleason was a good fit for the school. “I was impressed by what a thoughtful educator he was,” he said. “Dan is student centered, which was the most important characteristic that we were looking for.”

Mr. Dillow said that he was impressed when Dr. Gleason asked if he could see more classes during his visit at KO. “The fact that he took initiative to do that and engaged so easily with students and faculty was an indication to me that this was the kind of educator we wanted to have here,” he said.

Director of the Middle School Ann Sciglimpaglia said she is thrilled Dr. Gleason will be joining this community and thinks the committee did a great job. “The two biggest things that stood out was how amazingly bright he is and he stood out as a person with a super high EQ,” she said.

Director of Academic Skills Jackie Rubin agreed that Dr. Gleason has amazing interpersonal skills. “He was very willing to take the time to learn about the school and listen,” she said.

As the new director of the Upper School, Dr. Gleason will be responsible for working closely with the department chairs and teachers to oversee all of the operations and management of the Upper School. He will be in charge of student growth, the curriculum, faculty growth and development, budget, and admissions in the Upper School.

Dr. Gleason said that he is excited to join KO and is looking forward to curricular innovation. “It is an incredible opportunity to work with motivated students and accomplished faculty,” he said. “I am really interested in deep and authentic learning and getting students to care about what they are doing, take ownership, and trying new things.”

Ms. Sciglimpaglia said that Dr. Gleason will help the school move forward. “He will push and move the school in great ways,” she said. “He’s a great accessor of what a school needs; he will help to make those decisions.”

Ms. McKee said she agreed that she looks forward to change. “It’s always nice to have a fresh set of eyes, and Dr. Gleason brings a lot of expertise.”

Mr. Dillow said that Dr. Gleason’s collaborative spirit will be beneficial for the school. “He is interested in working with faculty and staff to ensure that our students have wonderful opportunities for learning and growth.”

The KO community is looking forward to welcoming Dr. Gleason in July.






  • Esha Kataria

    Esha is the News Editor for the KO News. She comes to KO from her hometown of Ellington, CT, and is part of the class of 2020. She loves English class, playing tennis and volleyball, and the color dark purple.