Stuart head of school participates in prestigious fellowship program
By David Karas | Correspondent
Dr. Patty Fagin, head of school at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton, kicked off 2016 by joining contemporaries from around the world through a prestigious fellowship.
Fagin, a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Skillman, was awarded a fully-funded fellowship to the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership’s 2016 Heads of Schools program in Teachers College, Columbia University, New York.
"As educational leaders, heads of school face many joys and challenges as we take our schools into the future," said Fagin. "At the Klingenstein, we are given the time to consider and discuss our challenges with the support of faculty from Columbia Teachers College and peers from around the globe."
She added, "I am humbled to have been selected to attend."
Established in 1991, the honor is granted to no more than 20 heads of schools across the globe each year, and the award provides honorees with the opportunity to engage in focused professional enrichment, renewal and reflection.
The 2016 cohort – which includes school leaders from throughout the United States as well as the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Germany, Nicaragua, Cote d’Ivoire, Lithuania, Fiji, Italy and Hong Kong – gathered from Jan. 25 to Feb. 5 on Columbia’s campus for a period of intensive study and to examine educational issues and policies confronting leaders of independent schools.
According to the program’s website, “The highly selective Klingenstein fellowship provides independent and international school leaders with an opportunity for focused research and professional reflection.”
Describing the experience as "transformational," Fagin said that the experience proved to be valuable.
"To be able to pause for two weeks and dive deeply into research-based best practices as well as into the philosophies of education and leadership has been a real gift," she said. "I have had the opportunity to discuss and analyze curriculum, pedagogy, technology and organizational structure with heads from around the world."
She also shared that the collaborations with counterparts around the world were enlightening.
"Despite the differences in our schools sizes, locations, governmental influences and structures," Fagin said, "we are all share a deep commitment to school improvement."
Fagin was one of two school leaders representing New Jersey in this year’s 19-person cohort, and the only from central New Jersey.
The Center works to equip educators and school leaders with the knowledge, skills and values to enrich their practice, and those selected for its fellowship focus their studies and discussion on philosophy, research, governance and current topics in education.
Fagin said that she returned to Princeton energized and with additional tools she can deploy as she continues her leadership at Stuart.
"Practically, I have been able to do an in-depth review of the research on problem-based learning. I have gained new insights into this 21st century teaching and learning approach that I am looking forward to sharing with Stuart faculty and families," she said. "In addition, I return to school with a new network of heads of school - new connections to incredible leaders and access to global resources that will most certainly help inform decisions as my team and I lead Stuart into the future."[[In-content Ad]]