Meet Dr. Karen E. Eshoo, Head of School

"My enthusiasm stems from the fact that I have found a School that shares my deepest values and passions, particularly for developing authentic academic excellence; fostering and supporting teaching that inspires curiosity and empowers students to make their place in the world; and preserving a school culture that respects childhood and adolescence, and that prioritizes character, kindness, and inclusion."

- Dr. Karen E. Eshoo

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    King's culture of respect thrives in a kind and inclusive community

    How does King School define a kind and inclusive community? Every day our staffulty, students, and parents make a choice to intentionally show consideration and compassion for others. King is committed to our Virtues of integrity, kindness, perseverance, and respect. One important way we show our commitment to cultivating a kind, inclusive community is by supporting staffulty at the NAIS People of Color Conference (PoCC) and students at the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC).

    Continuing our tradition of participation in these vital conferences, a group of five Upper School students and six staffulty from multiple divisions and disciplines traveled together to Nashville, Tennessee earlier this month for a unique and memorable experience.

    Read more about King's culture of respect thrives in a kind and inclusive community

    Karen Eshoo's letter to King Community

    Dear King community,

    It is truly an honor to have been chosen as the Head of King School and to share my excitement about joining you all as a member of the King community! The Search Committee’s thorough process allowed me to meet a broad group of faculty and staff, trustees, students, parents, and alumni, and it was clear to me that you all share a passion for the School and the many ways it serves its students, families and colleagues – ways that distinguish King as a forward-thinking and cutting edge institution. I am grateful and humbled that the Board of Trustees is giving me this opportunity to lead the School, to partner with them and with all of you as we continue the rich traditions that characterize this community, and to explore innovative ways to best prepare King students for the world they will enter upon graduation.

    My enthusiasm stems from the fact that I have found a School that shares my deepest values and passions, particularly for developing authentic academic excellence; fostering and supporting teaching that inspires curiosity and empowers students to make their place in the world; and preserving a school culture that respects childhood and adolescence, and that prioritizes character, kindness and inclusion. During my campus visits, King students described a program that is rigorous and focuses on critical thinking and mastery rather than unnecessary “busy work.” Students told me about teachers with unmatched expertise who demonstrate daily that they care about students, taking the time to get to know them as whole people, not disembodied intellects. Everyone I met described King as a school that intentionally fosters and values the relationships between students, teachers, and parents. In my experience leading schools with children from elementary to high school, it is these formative relationships that are the foundation upon which students can find ways to challenge themselves and grow. All these are reasons why I feel so fortunate that King and I have “found each other,” and why I can’t stop talking with my family and friends about what an excellent fit we are for each other.

    On a personal note, I am very excited to be moving to Connecticut - my other home state. My mother grew up in New Britain and Old Saybrook, and I enjoyed many summers with family in that area when I was growing up. I also spent a high school semester on “exchange” at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich. I am thrilled to come back home and join the King School community!

    Sincerely,


    Dr. Karen E. Eshoo
    Head of School

    Learn about Karen Eshoo

    MEET HEAD KAREN ESHOO

    Karen E. Eshoo, Ed.D

    Karen Eshoo

    Karen began her tenure as Head of School at King School in 2018. Prior to King School, Karen served as the second Head of School of Vistamar School in El Segundo, California from 2011-2018. Before joining Vistamar, she spent over 20 years in teaching and leadership in independent schools as a high school teacher, the Middle School Head and the Principal of Grades 1-8 at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, California – also her alma mater - and the Assistant Head of School at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco, California. She holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of San Diego; Masters degrees in Education and History from Stanford University; and an EdD in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Karen is a member of the faculty of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Institute for New Heads. She also previously served on the Boards of the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the California Teachers Development Collaborative (CATDC).

    Outside of work, she loves to cook amazing dinners for friends and family. While Karen is not a great athlete, she is a consistent exerciser and an avid sports fan. She also enjoys traveling internationally, reading about current events around the world, and dabbling in stand-up comedy. Karen is especially excited to be in Connecticut, closer to her family near Old Saybrook, and her friends and family in Brooklyn and Manhattan.