In listening to Head of School Elect Karen Eshoo talk about Stamford’s King School, her voice is brimming with passion and enthusiasm. It’s easy to see why: in the 150 years since students first walked through the doors, this PreK – Grade 12 private school has remained steadfast in its dedication to achieving academic excellence. From the beginning, the school has operated with the intention of instilling a love of learning and a drive for success in all of its students. Building on this strong history, King School is also setting the standard for modern education; highly qualified faculty design programs infused with the latest research findings in education and child development to prepare students for today’s challenges.
This July, Eshoo will join King School and bring with her over 20 years of experience in academic leadership: in addition to the last six years as the Head of School at Vistamar School in Los Angeles, she’s served as Assistant Head of School at San Francisco’s Lick-Wilmerding High School, and as principal for first through eighth grade at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, CA. With two Master’s degrees from Stanford University and a doctorate in education from the University of California, Berkeley, Eshoo has the qualifications and experience necessary to continue to make King School one of the top private schools in the state. More than that, Eshoo radiates warmth and a strong understanding of the value of community in the school system. It’s imperative that students learn from an early age about “what it means to be in a community setting in a classroom,” Eshoo explains. “The way that they speak and act and behave has a great impact on the other people in the room.” This understanding creates a sense of ownership not only for their actions and behaviors, but ultimately for their academic success as well.
Students at King are actively engaged in their own learning. Teachers set challenging expectations for students and provide them with the tools they need to achieve their personal best.STEM, for example, is a program that takes a hands-on approach to science, technology, engineering, and math concepts through project-based learning, and illustrates the power that is unleashed when students take charge of their own learning experience. In a safe and supportive environment where creativity and curiosity are encouraged, students learn to investigate, to question, and to not be afraid of failure. In this way, the potential for growth is limitless: academic success comes when students feel challenged and motivated by teachers and their peers. Students also learn the value of perseverance, which supports cognitive growth, academic success, and strong confident learners. King teachers use a proprietary student learning profile system which helps them to understand and focus on students’ learning strengths as well as challenges, and help them to work towards their goals while bolstering their cognitive, social, and emotional development.
King School knows that the learning experience goes beyond the school day and beyond the confines of the classroom; it knows that a well-rounded student will excel in his or her academics by actively engaging in experiences with the larger community. Programming like the King Cares Service program radiates the school’s values-based education by involving students in a number of community service opportunities through organizations including the Stamford Boys & Girls Club, SoundWaters, New Covenant Soup Kitchen, and Relay for Life, to name a few. By giving back to their community, students are again able to see the impact of their actions, behavior, and choices.
The King School that we see today reflects a rich history of academic success combined with modern approaches to teaching; in a world where knowledge is sometimes little more than a click away, students and teachers alike strive for a fulfilling academic experience. In the lab or on the field, behind a desk or in front of a crowd, King students are lifetime learners on the road to success.