Dennis Bisgaard was appointed Head of Kingswood Oxford School in 2006. From 2000-06, he served as the Associate Director and Acting Head at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA. Previously, he was a teacher, coach, advisor, and administrator at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore; Collegiate School in New York City; and Vejlefjord Højere Skole in Vejle, Denmark.
Education and Background
Dennis holds the candidatus magisterii degree (the equivalent of a Ph.D.) in British and American literature and a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Odense Universitet in Denmark. He also completed a Master of Arts degree in educational administration in private school leadership at the Klingenstein Center of Teachers College Columbia University; a year-long Thanks to Scandinavia Graduate Fellowship at Temple University in Philadelphia, studying African and Caribbean literature; and coursework at the Harvard Principal Center in Cambridge, MA.
Board Member and Educational Leader
During the past 25 years, Dennis has served on local, regional, and national boards and as a consultant for independent schools. He is currently on the Boards of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Student Achievement Through Opportunity (SATO), the WALKS Foundation, the SPHERE Consortium, the Founder’s League, Men Make A Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence (Interval House), and MiddleOak, a private insurance company.
Previously, he was a Board member for The Heads Network (formerly NAPSG, the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls), Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), Covenant Prep School in Hartford, and the Diversity and Professional Development Committees of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS).
In 2012, Dennis founded the Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color, through which administrators from independent schools across the country come to KO in June for four days of professional development and networking. This successful program is being replicated both in New York City and in San Francisco. In 1995, Dennis founded the Collegiate School Teaching Institute that has helped to recruit and retain several hundred of educators of color within independent schools.
Dennis's writing has been published in The Color of Excellence, The NAIS Head’s Handbook and Independent School Magazine. Additional writing can be found in his own blog. He is fluent in Danish, German, and English. He reads Norwegian and Swedish and has a working knowledge of French.
As a Danish citizen and U.S. Green Card holder; a transracial adoptee born in Germany; a polyglot who has lived in Germany, Denmark, Canada, and the U.S, and as an educator with extensive experience in single-sex, pre-K through 12, international, boarding, and day schools, Dennis brings a unique perspective and versatile background to his leadership at KO.
In Denmark, Dennis was a competitive athlete in basketball, volleyball, and swimming. He is also a three-time New York City marathon finisher and a practitioner of Bikram Yoga.
Dennis is married to Monica, who holds a counseling psychology degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and has worked at Milton Academy, Shady Hill School, Teachers College Columbia University, Bunker Hill Community College, and Lesley University. Dennis and Monica are the parents of Nicolas Coltrane and Saudea Simone.