Have you been dreaming of an opportunity to step outside the day-to-day challenges of leading your school to find professional reinvigoration and personal renewal? This is what you’ve been waiting for...

Come to this fully-funded, two-week fellowship to join a cohort of independent and international school heads at Columbia University's Teachers College. Through intensive study and collaboration, you'll have a remarkable experience that leaves you with renewed vision, passion, and energy to lead your school.


Discuss current educational issues, dive into educational philosophy and ethics, and immerse yourself in reflective-practice. Engage in design thinking and case study work with Klingenstein master's students. Visit independent schools in New York City to observe a variety of programs and ideas.

Heads Cohort


Connect to a cohort of fellow leaders to form lasting relationships. In addition to academic study, participants enjoy time together with all New York City has to offer. The group attends a number of social and cultural events including dinners, a private museum tour and a Broadway show.

Shelley Wille


Balancing multiple roles and constituencies is an around-the-clock job for heads. The demands of running a school leave little time for much needed academic renewal and discussion and few chances for meaningful reflection and personal development. This unique opportunity to spend two weeks with fellow heads will allow you return to your school with solution-focused academic research, renewed vision, and revitalized passion for education and leadership. You owe it to yourself and your school to apply.


Your Klingenstein experience begins with your application via the Teachers College Office of Admissions. Applications for the Heads 2025 Cohort have closed.

To be notified when the application opens for the 2026 cohort, please fill out our
Contact Us form and specific "Heads" as your program of interest.

Learn more about the Program requirements in the
FAQ section.

Application deadlines

The application deadline each year is April 1.

Program Brochure



My Klingenstein experience was full - of creativity, reflection, deep learning (and unlearning), and collaboration. Our amazing cohort explored topics from listening leadership and communication to global citizenship and equity through reading, discussion, case studies, and experiential learning. Early in my career, the Klingenstein Summer Institute affirmed my calling as an educator striving to bring out the best in others. Now, more than 20 years later, returning to Klingenstein as a Heads Fellow on this meaningful, circular journey, I am again affirmed and recentered - inspired and galvanized to do the work ahead.
Alfred (Rik) F. Dugan III
Heads '23, Princeton Academy, NJ
Participating in the Klingenstein Heads of School Fellowship Program was one of the most profound experiences I have had. The two weeks were filled with a perfect balance of hands-on learning about how to better serve as a Head of School and introspection about these important roles we play in each of our own academies and communities. My fellow heads taught me so incredibly much and will now be colleagues that I will look to for guidance and support. I could not give a higher recommendation than to take advantage of this phenomenal program. I will be forever grateful that I did.
Megan Mannato
Heads '23, Lacordaire Academy, NJ
I will long treasure the glorious two weeks I spent with my fellow heads at Klingenstein. The head of school role is a lonely one, but—during the program—my cup spilled over. The opportunity to spend time with colleagues who have had similar experiences and are confronting creatively the same challenges was invaluable. I returned from Klingenstein refreshed, energized, and full of hope for the profession. Take this time to think, laugh, and work with some of the most talented people you’ll ever meet.
Danny O’Brien
Heads ‘20, Putney School, VT
It was such a gift to get away from school, connect with thoughtful leaders and reflect on our practice. How do we lead for inclusion? How can we listen in new ways to get different results? How can we leverage the group to think through leadership challenges specific to our school? These rich discussions, supported by experts across the field, created both a powerful learning experience in New York City and a prized new network of friends.
Mark Wenzel
Heads ‘22, Stamford American School, Singapore
I really appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Klingenstein heads program. It provided time and space to explore and reflect on being a leader in education, in a beautiful location. I appreciated connecting and developing relationships with other heads and it was inspiring to share stories. Our cohort continued to meet regularly after the program to offer support during the pandemic and we continue to stay connected. This was one of the most meaningful, memorable and long-lasting professional growth experience I’ve participated in!
Karrie Dietz
Heads ‘20, Stamford American School, Hong Kong
The Klingenstein Heads of School Program was the best professional development that I have ever participated in as a Head of School. While there is never a "good" time to be away from school, the time spent with amazing colleagues from all over the world was worth every second. We worked hard, learned tons, and felt connected as kindred spirits because of the shared sense of purpose and excitement around our work. This experience has added years onto my career, and I truly believe that my time at Klingenstein has made me a better educator!
James Calleroz White
HDS '16, Galloway School, GA
The Heads Programme was a unique experience! What made it unique was a combination of the intellectual depth of the programme, discussions about the relevance of theoretical thought for our strategic work as school leaders, as well as sheer practicality of sharing, listening and consulting with colleagues. I find the Columbia University experience reoccurringly useful in my daily work as a Head.
Marta Medved Krajnovic
HDS '17, Western Academy of Beijing, China
The Klingenstein Center is an exceptional, life changing program for Heads of Schools. It’s an oasis where school heads from around the world can gather and unplug from the fast and furious day-to-day, cultivate meaningful relationships with one another, and replenish the mind, body, and spirit. The fellowship felt like a retreat, surrounded by peer mentors, sharing our beliefs in a crowdsourcing format that allowed for knowledge to be reinforced, reflected on, and retained. I walked away transformed, armed with courage, passion, and know-how for lifelong self innovation. I recommend the program to all school heads.
Catarina Song Chen
HDS '17, The American School of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
The Klingenstein Heads of School program was a special time of learning, reflection, and personal growth. It was a privilege to experience deep conversation and discussion with significant minds in education, and to establish a sense of collegiality with other heads from around the world. The time I spent at Teacher’s College, Columbia University reaffirmed my commitment to educational leadership and renewed my energy to further the work of diversity and curriculum innovation in my school. New York City provided an inspired setting for this professional experience.
Deanne King
HDS '18, St. Mary's School Waverley, Johannesburg, South Africa
There have been 3 distinct times in my adult life where I experienced deep transformation - studying hula in Hawai`i, engaging in my doctoral research and participating in the Klingenstein Heads of Schools programme. I entered a staunch essentialist and emerged comprehending how constructivism enables the learner to experience rather than merely consume knowledge. I expanded my view not only of education and thought-leadership but perhaps most importantly about the power of having diverse thinkers from myriad backgrounds delve into topics that influence paradigm shifts. The Klingenstein programme was thought-provoking and life-changing for me.
Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise
HDS '18, The Wyndcroft School, PA
My experience with the Klingenstein Heads Program was completely transformative! Renewing myself as an educator in this setting with other Heads of School was just what I needed at this point in my career. I was truly able to think of myself as a lifelong learner and return to my school with innovative ideas to share, questions to ponder with faculty, and strong relationships with my Klingenstein cohort that I know will last a lifetime.
Cindi Gibbs-Wilborn
HDS '18, Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School, Washington, DC
The Klingenstein Head of School Program was an incredible professional experience filled with reflection, inspiration, laughter, fellowship, conversation and deep learning. The ability to immerse myself in my own learning for two weeks with like-minded colleagues from all over the world provided the opportunity to process the complex work we do as Heads and create collegial relationships I cherish and rely upon today.
Shelly Luke Wille
HDS '18, Children's Day School, CA