DALLAS, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hockaday School is pleased to announce Dr. Karen Warren Coleman, former Vice President for Campus and Student Life at the University of Chicago, as its new Eugene McDermott Head of School. Dr. Coleman will become the thirteenth head of school since its founding in 1913.
Search Committee Chair Michelle Neuhoff Thomas '83 stated, "After a complete and exhaustive national search of outstanding candidates, we are elated to welcome Karen as our next head of school. She will bring vision, inspiration, and momentum to Hockaday while holding true to the traditions of its founding Four Cornerstones of Character, Courtesy, Scholarship, and Athletics. With a highly distinguished background in education, Karen is uniquely qualified to lead our School to ensure it continues to provide the exceptional opportunities that define the Hockaday experience. We are confident that her remarkable experience and leadership will guide Hockaday into this next chapter in its history."
Board Chair David J. Haemisegger said, "Karen is a proven, confident leader with a demonstrated history of building meaningful relationships in a community of teaching and learning. Smart, articulate, warm, and caring, she will be a positive role model for our girls and a vibrant collaborator with our faculty. Karen is a life-long learner whose strategic thinking will move the School forward to ensure that we remain one of the premier leaders in 21st century girls education. We are fortunate to have Karen and her husband Andy join the Hockaday and Dallas communities."
As an educator and administrator, Dr. Coleman's educational philosophy is based on the exceptional responsibility and extraordinary privilege of working with young people. She believes, "Education has the ability to transform lives, both inside the classroom or lab and outside of it – including on the field, in the dance studio, while working at an internship, and around the dining table. Learning is fluid and participatory; students continuously observe and engage with the world around them in order to test their assumptions and learn new ways of thinking and doing. While the traditional responsibility of teaching is most often assigned to the classroom teacher, there is a larger cast of influential individuals and groups – parents, siblings, and other family members, coaches, advisors, mentors, peers, internship supervisors, teammates, and others – who have a meaningful and important role in educating our students."
"Our students deserve a rigorous and practical education that challenges them to become innovative problem solvers who will be prepared for an ever-changing world," notes Dr. Coleman. "Hockaday girls must learn how to navigate today's world and understand how to use information to make well-informed decisions, to be resilient, moral, compassionate, confident individuals who are capable of making positive contributions to the community and of defining success on their own terms. I look forward to navigating this journey with everyone in the Hockaday community to ensure a fulfilling and lifelong experience for our students at Hockaday."
Dr. Coleman not only believes in the transformative power of education, but is also wholeheartedly committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive culture where the entire community is embraced for its unique experiences and contributions. Both her master's thesis and doctoral dissertation reflect her knowledge and interest in these topics. She implemented programs and services at the University of Chicago that supported a diverse and inclusive campus community and offered opportunities to help create a sense of belonging for all members of that community. Dean of Colby College Karlene Burrell-McRae worked directly with Karen while at the University of Chicago and said, "Karen dove into thinking broadly and holistically about residential life and student health, and diversity and inclusion. She spent time thinking about how people live and learn together – healthfully and respectfully."
As she looks forward to becoming Hockaday's next head of school, Dr. Coleman says, "I am excited about all-girls education and the opportunities to help these young women become leaders in our community and our world. It is fascinating to be involved with students' lives at an early stage and to watch the trajectory of girls growing from prekindergarten through their senior year. I am respectful of the deeply-held beliefs and traditional rites of passage at any institution – they are sometimes embedded where we don't even recognize them. Hockaday has a unique culture, and I will listen to the community to discover that culture and how best I can lead it. We need to be sensitive and collaborate when there is momentum to 'move forward' and ensure that traditions are part of that modern and forward-thinking experience."
Dr. Stephanie Balmer, Head of School at Harpeth Hall college preparatory school for girls, was a classmate in Dr. Coleman's doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Balmer says, "At the University of Chicago, Karen was there to advocate for all students and she was especially attentive to the experiences of women and girls in the highly-competitive, rigorous environment. She is sensitive to differing opinions and researched issues appropriately to make sure all voices were heard."
Most recently, Dr. Coleman led the strategic direction at the University of Chicago in the Department of Campus and Student Life to support students, faculty, and staff. As an officer of the university she was a trusted leader who oversaw several campus departments, which included 350 staff members and a budget of $80 million. Prior to the University of Chicago, Dr. Coleman served as Associate Dean of Students at the University of California, Berkeley. In this role she was responsible for matters related to student affairs and student services; developing university policies and protocols to address student discipline and grievances; and collaborating with other departments to meet students' needs. Early in her career Dr. Coleman held student affairs positions at the George Washington University, the University of Vermont, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Robert Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago, said, "Karen was the most important person in helping me interact with students. I depended on her to understand what was going on with them and to deal with people on a one-on-one basis. She is gracious, calm, and always extremely professional."
Kim Taylor, Vice President and General Counsel for University of Chicago, shared, "Karen was a great role model for students and will be a fabulous one for girls and young women. She is warm and resonates very well with students. Karen listens – people feel valued, and they trust her. People feel Karen's attention fully directed to them – this will translate well in how Karen will work with Hockaday's faculty and parents."
Dr. Coleman has served as an adjunct faculty member and guest lecturer for the School of Education at Loyola University. She is frequently sought as a presenter and panelist in student affairs and education for industry conferences and symposiums and has been acknowledged for her published works and expertise in the field of education. In support of education, she has held leadership positions for several organizations including ACPA–College Student Educators International and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and is active in the American Council on Education (ACE).
Dr. Coleman completed her doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania, her master's in education from the University of Vermont, and earned her bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she graduated cum laude. She attended Stuyvesant High School, a specialized college preparatory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused liberal arts high school in New York City.
Karen and her husband Andy met in the Bay Area, where they lived for 10 years before moving to Andy's hometown of Chicago where they reside with their black Lab, Brunson. Andy is Vice President, Business Development, Travel and Media for National Geographic, based in Washington, DC. They are passionate travelers, love the outdoors, and savor exploring the world, cameras in hand. Karen is an avid runner and Andy is a photographer and cyclist who also enjoys running. Andy's family lives outside Chicago and Karen's family lives in New York City. They are close to their many siblings and adore their niece and nephew who live in Illinois, and their godchildren who live in Maryland and San Francisco.
About The Hockaday School
The Hockaday School, the largest independent girls' school in the country, is a college preparatory day and boarding school for girls. From prekindergarten through grade 12, Hockaday prepares bright and engaging girls to define their place in the world. Ranked among the country's finest college preparatory schools, Hockaday was founded in 1913 and continues to build on its original Four Cornerstones: Courtesy, Character, Scholarship, and Athletics. More information about Hockaday can be found at www.hockaday.org.
Director of Communications
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-hockaday-school-welcomes-new-head-of-school-karen-warren-coleman-to-join-hockaday-july-1-2017-300360197.html
SOURCE The Hockaday School