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It’s back to school for Mr. Danovitch

courtesy of Danovitch

By Alexa Fishman

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After becoming increasingly interested in the philosophy of education during 11 years at Shalhevet, General Studies Principal Mr. Roy Danovitch plans to attend an intensive school leadership program next year at Columbia University in New York.

The program, called the Klingenstein Institute, is one year long and focuses on educational philosophy, leadership and collaboration at independent schools. It is part of Columbia Teacher’s College and leads to a Master’s of Education degree.

“I’m going back to school because I’m eager for a new challenge,” Mr. Danovitch said in an interview Feb. 25. “I want to continue growing, developing, and deepening my interests.”

Students in the institute take courses on leadership in private schools, marketing and school financing. They must have a bachelor’s degree and three years of teaching experience in order to be accepted into the program.

Mr. Danovitch joined the Shalhevet faculty as an English teacher in 2004, going on to become Dean of Students under Principal Phu Tranchi and then Acting General Studies Principal when Rabbi Segal arrived in 2011. In 2012, the “Acting” was dropped from his title.

Mr. Danovitch announced last summer that this year would be his last in the post. He said he applied to the Columbia program at the encouragement of school founder Dr. Jerry Friedman and Mr. Bob Riddle, Head of School at Crossroads, where Mr. Danovitch attended high school.

“The [Klingenstein] program is special because it is the number one school in the country,” Mr. Danovitch said. “The program also has a deeply progressive educational philosophy, developed in large part by John Dewey, a huge influence on me.”

According to the Kligenstein website, it “aims to prepare students to further develop their ability to exercise leadership and to increase their capacity to meet the challenges of leadership.” As of now, Mr. Danovitch does not know what he’ll do after that.

“I could return to the independent school world, or I could develop an educational non-profit focusing on democracy in schools,” said Mr. Danovitch. “I could also write a book, or teach at the university level, or I could just find more ways to be a student for the rest of my life.”

Agenda chair Max Helfand, who works closely with Mr. Danovitch, thinks that Mr. Danovitch is making the right choice. “I am just utterly happy for Dano,” said Hefland. “He has been sure a core part of Shalhevet during his time here, and I think he would really love to study education moving forward.”

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