Dillow appoints new Head of Upper School Lisa Loeb


 Lisa Loeb was appointed as Kingswood Oxford’s new Head of the Upper School by Head of School Tom Dillow on Jan. 18, 2023. 

Mrs. Loeb has been a teacher at many institutions throughout her career, including Kingswood Oxford. Mrs. Loeb began her teaching career at Choate Rosemary Hall. From there, she worked at KO for 17 years between 1995 and 2012.

She held positions as a form dean and as a French teacher. After her long tenure at KO, she moved to work with New Haven Reads, an after-school tutoring program. She then taught at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington and, most recently, at One Schoolhouse, an online school based in Washington, DC.

 After being at multiple schools, Mrs. Loeb said she looks forward to settling down at KO and hopefully being here for a while. “I’ve taken a lot of what I learned at KO and some of the work that we did there, and I’ve used it at other schools,” Mrs. Loeb said. “It’s served me really well, and this will likely be my last lap. I’d love to finish out my career here.”

Mrs. Loeb reconnected with KO during the thorough search for a new Head of the Upper School. Currently, the position is held by Dan Gleason, who has been at KO since 2019. Beginning in September of 2022, the school worked with a hiring agency to search for this position.

The search committee consisted of both administrators and teachers at KO. Head of School Tom Dillow, Director of Enrollment Management Susan Emery, Upper School math teacher Tracy Deeter, Interim Dean of Students Kata Baker, French teacher Ryan Brodeur, Visual Arts Department Chair Katie Burnett, Upper School English teacher William Martino, and Director of Teaching and Learning Heidi Hojnicki were all involved in the search and hiring of a candidate to fill the position. Ms. Hojnicki served as the head of the search committee.

Around 18 total applicants applied for this position; however, that number was cut down to eight right before winter break. Those remaining eight candidates had Zoom interviews with the search committee throughout the winter break.

After a few weeks off of school, the eight-person list was narrowed down to three top candidates, and those three individuals were invited to campus for in-person interviews. While visiting the school, candidates met faculty, senior administrators, and panels of students and teachers.

After a lengthy process, Mrs. Loeb was appointed to the position of Head of the Upper School by Mr. Dillow.

Mr. Dillow and Ms. Hojnicki, along with the rest of the KO community, are thrilled to have Mrs. Loeb begin in the fall.

“Mrs. Loeb is, first and foremost, a master teacher with a distinguished career challenging and inspiring students to excel in the classroom,” Mr. Dillow said. “She is also an innovative educational leader who is committed to building learning experiences and programs that create opportunities for students to pursue their passions. We look forward to welcoming her back to KO.” 

Ms. Hojnicki agrees that Mrs. Loeb is a tremendous fit for this position. “She is decisive,” Ms. Hojnicki said. “She is thoughtful and deliberative about the kinds of decisions she makes. She’s empathetic. She is a kind human being. She cares about kids first, always kids first.” 

Mrs. Loeb feels that she embodies these traits described by Ms. Hojnicki. In the classroom, she is a firm believer in personal growth and students growing from their mistakes.

“I don’t think that a student who makes a mistake is a bad student,” Mrs. Loeb said. She thinks that her experience at many different institutions is an important strength of hers, and she looks to use those strengths to establish herself as KO’s new Head of the Upper School. 

In addition to her experience as a French teacher, Mrs. Loeb has formerly coached KO athletes in cross country and softball. As much as she will be focusing on her role as Head of the Upper School in her first year back, Mrs. Loeb has also made a commitment to being engaged with and involved in the KO community.

“The Upper School Head is going to be a real office job next year, but I do want folks to know that on Saturdays and Wednesdays, I’ll be going to games and meets, and I’ll be cheering on Wyvern Nation,” she said. Mrs. Loeb noted that she would love to get back into teaching and coaching once she settles in with the position.

After about 11 years of her career away from KO, Mrs. Loeb is looking forward to returning to campus. She is very eager to meet all of the members of the community, and to bring her experience from other schools to KO.

Mrs. Loeb can not wait to give her contributions to the school. Kingswood Oxford looks forward to greeting her next fall!