Head of School
Head of School
Tom joined the KO community from Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he was the assistant head of school and the head of the upper school for six years. Before his tenure at Shorecrest, Tom held several positions of increasing responsibility at the Lawrenceville School. First and foremost, he was a teacher at Lawrenceville; he also served as the head of one of the residence houses, was the founding director of Lawrenceville’s highly regarded summer program, and redesigned the Humanities curriculum. A lifelong educator and scholar, Tom holds his undergraduate degree in Government and History from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh.
In his educational philosophy statement, Tom stated, “The end goal for our students is to create life-long learners who are respectful of others, capable of challenging their prior assumptions when confronted with better evidence to the contrary, yet steadfast when it comes to tackling a problem that seems insurmountable. They should be wary of the treacherous effects of entitlement and recognize that success should not be measured by how much they acquire or consume, but the extent to which they give back to their communities and make a difference.”
Tom attended high school in Austria and Germany. Spurred by his international background, his interest in history, government, and international affairs led him to Georgetown University. A true scholar-athlete, Tom was also a stand-out soccer player at Georgetown. After college, Tom began a career in finance but was drawn toward education and became a faculty member at The McCallie School. This began a career spanning more than two decades in teaching, coaching, and academic leadership at various schools, giving him exposure to diverse cultures and experiences.
At Shorecrest, one of the oldest independent day schools in Florida, serving approximately 975 students from PreK-12th grade, Tom directly oversaw an upper school that consisted of 315 students. During his tenure there, Tom spearheaded several initiatives, including implementing a new academic schedule that met the students’ brain-based learning and social-emotional health needs and numerous project-based learning initiatives in the Upper School. In addition, Tom created and taught senior interdisciplinary initiatives (Sub-Saharan Africa and Tribalism: Us vs.Them) and chaperoned service-learning trips to Haiti, Peru, and Argentina.
Hear from Tom Dillow