Pilgrim School leader tapped for Columbia fellowship

| December 30, 2021 | 0 Comments

Pilgrim School’s newly appointed Head of School Patricia Kong has been selected to join a small cohort of experienced national and international school leaders for the 2022 Klingenstein Head of School Fellowship in late January.

The highly selective program admits 20 heads of school annually and offers a two-week, fully-funded fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College in New York City.

Patricia Kong

Throughout the program, the participants will engage in design thinking and case study work with Klingenstein master’s students, and the heads of schools will visit independent schools in New York City to observe a variety of programs and ideas.

“I’ve always dreamed of being a head of school, and I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to be selected to this one-of-a-kind program,” said Kong.

Now in her 22nd year at Pilgrim, and first year as Head of School, Kong is the first Korean-American head of school at a K-12 independent school in California.

Kong was selected for the Klingenstein program, in part, for her commitment to professional development and growth, both for herself and her teams.

In addition to bringing back the experiences during the fellowship, Kong says that she is excited to implement what she’s learned in order to keep shaping Pilgrim into a forward thinking school that is not only diverse, equitable and inclusive but also a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

In fact, a key part of the Klingenstein program is the opportunity for participants to explore specific questions related to their own interests and school community. “In my application, I shared that I wanted to explore some of these questions,” Kong said, listing issues such as supporting an increasingly diverse student population; how COVID-19 influenced key changes on campus; how the most innovative schools are structured and how to support and sustain exhausted educators.

Pilgrim School, founded in 1958, is an independent K-12 college preparatory school located in Koreatown. Visit pilgrim-school.org.

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