Richmond prep school dean tapped to lead Wakefield
David M. Colón
Wakefield School's Board of Trustees has unanimously selected David M. Colón as the next Head of School. He will officially begin his duties on July 1, 2014.
Colón is currently the Academic Dean at Collegiate School, a leading K-12 college preparatory school of more than 1,600 students located in Richmond.
After earning an undergraduate degree in history from American University, he went on to complete a master’s degree in Early Modern European History at Harvard University, where he was a teaching fellow. During his time at Harvard, he also was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He began his independent school career as a history teacher, and later history department chair, at the Nightingale Bamford School in New York City. He joined Collegiate School as history department chair in 2001 and became Academic Dean in 2003.
While his education and background are rooted in classical values, his academic leadership has focused on innovation for the 21st century, including forming global education partnerships, integrating technology in the classroom, developing project-based teaching methods, and building school-wide community engagement, according to a release from Wakefield School.
Colón said he was drawn to Wakefield School by its strong academic programs, its values, and its amazing community.
"It was Wakefield’s classical values that initially spoke to me,” he said. "Once I stepped foot onto Wakefield's campus, I was hooked. Everything from the beautiful campus to the student-centric academic philosophy to the ‘Fighting Owls’ mascot reaffirmed my initial connection with the school. I was particularly impressed with the senior thesis project and the international trips to Namibia and Peru, but the people made all the difference: Everyone I met was welcoming and excited about Wakefield's mission. I am deeply humbled and honored by this opportunity and look forward to being a part of the next stage in Wakefield's history."
While at Collegiate, he took a special interest in involving the school in the community beyond the school walls, through both an extensive service program that has students working to make the Richmond area a better place, as well as an comprehensive global education program that gives students a solid grounding in world languages and connects them with partner schools around the globe. He has extensive experience in K-12 curriculum planning, academic affairs, faculty professional development, and personally supervised the school’s efforts in diversity.
The board’s unanimous vote was based on the exhaustive work and recommendation of the Search Committee, led by Paul Mayer, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. The committee included five additional trustees, two parents, two faculty, and one staff member from the Wakefield community
"Mr. Colón’s lifelong commitment to academic excellence and innovation is very closely aligned with Wakefield’s mission to provide a rigorous liberal arts curriculum combined with vibrant and engaging extra-curricular programs," said Wakefield Board Chair Susan Lewis. "We were immediately impressed with Mr. Colón’s intellect, engaging personality, and commitment to student success. Building on his strong foundation of academic achievements is a passion and energy for continued innovation, and a clear desire to be a part of a fun and vibrant community."
This year, Wakefield will continue under the expert leadership of Interim Head Ed Costello. Costello will work with Colón to ensure a seamless transition come July.
Wakefield School is excited to welcome Colón and his wife Nancy, as well as their children, Phillip, Andrew, and Eloise.
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