The Kingswood Oxford community extends a warm and happy welcome to the new Head of Upper School Dan Gleason. Highly educated, Dr. Gleason attended Pomona College as an English major, proceeding to teach English in Japan for a year and a half after he graduated.
He also received his Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University in 2007 and then a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois. Dr. Gleason then worked for eight years as an English teacher, English department chair, and director of curriculum at Illinois Math and Science Academy, a residential STEM magnet school in Illinois. Afterward, he took on the role of English department chair at Maine East High School situated in Chicago.
Coming with his wife and five-year-old twins all the way from “The Windy City,” Dr. Gleason said he hopes he will bring with him a new wave of engagement and collaboration. “I’m a pretty collaborative person, so I’m really excited to work closely with everyone here and learn more about KO,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to working with all the faculty and staff on continuing to build and emphasize the culture of innovation and motivation in the school.”
As he recalled his initial impression of KO, Dr. Gleason said he felt like it was a nice and warm community with a beautiful, intimate campus right in the city, allowing KO to have many opportunities to potentially connect with the outside world. He said that this, as well as knowing that the faculty and staff have the freedom and power to innovate and work through their ideas, motivated him to take on the job.
Only a few weeks have gone by, yet Dr. Gleason said he has already been sticking to his plan of pursuing higher engagement in both the students and faculty here. “Back in the spring, after taking a tour during my interview process I was able to meet some students and sit in on classes,” he said. “I’ve taken some inspiration from that, and I’ve been in about three to five classes a day because my goal is to see all the teachers and their classes by Parent Night.”
Other than English and all things pedagogical, Dr. Gleason has several passions. Some of these include cooking (especially soups and pescatarian or vegetarian meals), spending time with his family, playing mostly jazz on the saxophone, playing basketball, and hiking. For a nice view, he said he recommends the Yellow Trail at Penwood in Bloomfield. KO loves having you here, Dr. Gleason, and we wish you the best of luck this year!