Khan Lab School Welcomes New Head of School
Introducing Rachel Skiffer
Rachel Skiffer, the current Dean of Policy and Strategic Planning at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, was named Head of School of Khan Lab School on March 21, 2018, following a unanimous agreement by the Board of Directors.
“As was apparent from the team’s observations, our collective interactions, and our extensive evaluation of her experience and skills, Rachel brings deep school leadership expertise to this role along with remarkable empathy, a commitment to equity, and a passion for student-centered education,” said Sal Khan, Founder & Chairman of Khan Lab School. “We are thrilled that after evaluating opportunities to lead more established schools, Rachel was drawn to KLS by our collaborative learning environment, our incredible teachers, and the opportunity to reimagine education with all of us.”
Rachel was selected from a highly competitive field of candidates from across the country. Rachel, her husband Marvin, and their two young children (Josiah and Tess) will join the Khan Lab School community on July 2, 2018.
Over the past five years in the Head of School’s office at Andover, Rachel has overseen the strategic direction of the school, working closely with constituents to shape and implement the school’s vision. Listening and responding to the needs of Andover’s community, Rachel led faculty working groups in creating a new interdisciplinary department, integrating academic advising and college counseling, and incorporating social-emotional learning into Andover’s curriculum. Rachel’s responsibilities include leading institutional research and data-based decision-making, chairing the Community Conduct Council, prioritizing sustainability and inclusion, and representing Andover in the Mastery Transcript Consortium. During Rachel’s tenure implementing the strategic plan, Andover has built a makerspace, launched a staybattical institute, introduced a calculus partnership with Khan Academy, articulated philosophies on global learning, launched a multi-year health curriculum, and completed construction of a new student wellness center and athletics complex.
Prior to Andover, Rachel was the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at San Francisco University High School, where she gained experience managing school revenues while remaining compassionate to the needs of individual families. Rachel was instrumental in increasing University High School’s admissions yield and building support systems for newly enrolled students. Rachel received A Better Chance’s Hero Award in 2013, which recognizes educators who go above and beyond the call of duty to empower young scholars of color and their families within their school communities.
Rachel’s decades of experience also include admissions leadership at The Latin School of Chicago, two years as an admissions officer at Harvard College, seven years as a commercial real estate attorney, and management consulting with McKinsey & Company. She currently serves on the boards of The Enrollment Management Association, The Fessenden School, and Katherine Delmar Burke School, and she served on the accreditation visiting committee for Boston University Academy. Rachel holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was on the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. from Harvard-Radcliffe College.
“Our mission as educators calls upon us to prepare students for the complex and interconnected world that awaits them, yet at the same time foster in them a deep love for learning that makes them excited to go to school each day,” said Rachel. “I am thrilled to join Khan Lab School and its community of innovators who, led by Sal Khan's vision for education in The One World Schoolhouse, are helping to shape what the future of education will look like: deep learning experiences that are mastery-based and infused with joy.”
About Khan Lab School
Khan Lab School is an independent school associated with Khan Academy. Our purpose is to develop new, personalized practices that center around the student. We believe that young people are capable of far more than society currently recognizes, and we create and test learning experiences to share with the world. Many of the core principles and ideas to be developed and tested in our school are outlined in Sal Khan’s book, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined.
We currently serve 140 students ages 5-15+ in Mountain View, California. In keeping with Sal Khan’s One World Schoolhouse philosophy, we provide an extended-year, extended-day, mixed-age program with a project-based learning approach. Recognizing that ownership and relationship are the keys to success in learning, our academic experience is coordinated by a team of Advisors, Content Specialists, and Associate Teachers who guide students through gradually increasing levels of independence.
Our teaching philosophy encourages meaningful inquiry and interdisciplinary work, and we utilize blended learning to meet the needs of each student. Thanks to our association with Khan Academy, we are leveraging the power of technology to humanize the classroom.
To learn more about Khan Lab School, please visit khanlabschool.org.
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