Dalton chose a new leader after beating New York City’s elite private school, Covid-19, and many other forces, including racial and equality issues.
On July 1, 2022, Jose De Jesse will be the principal of the Dalton School in the upper east of Manhattan. He now holds a similar role at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, a wealthy suburb of Chicago.
De Jesse, 46, was born in Puerto Rico and moved to New York City as a child, where he learned English, according to a letter from his parents announcing his appointment on Sunday. He began his career as a history teacher and moved to administration at New York City’s Poly Preparatory Country Day School, Spence School, and Packer College Institute.
Former Dalton boss Jim Best has held the top six highest-paid positions in three years. He announced his resignation in April after being instructed during Best Covey and criticized for racial, diversity and coverage issues.
After the assassination of George Floyd, Dalton was not alone in rioting among private schools since the debate over racism and inclusion began.
The ordinance makes Dalton one of the few independent schools in New York City, led by a man of color to join Spence, who recently hired Felicia Wilkes as principal, and begin at the same time as De Jesus. According to the National Association of Independent Schools, in 2019, 8% of school principals were of color and 31.6% of students enrolled in member schools were of color.
De Jesse is a student in the Preparatory Program for New York City’s Color Students. She attended the Horace Mann School and then the University of Wesleyan, and last year participated in a virtual board called “Educating for Motherhood Equality: Building Race Skills.” He holds a Master’s degree in Leadership from Columbia University’s Private School of Arts and a Master’s degree in History from Tufts.
“We are committed to expanding our professionalism in advanced education, promoting a high level of academic culture, and strengthening an energetic and inclusive environment for all our students to see and thrive,” said Ali Jeddy, president of Dalton’s board and McKinsey’s senior partner.
In a video posted on his Facebook page just months before last year’s presidential election, De Jesse acknowledged the plague and political stress.
“As like-minded citizens, it’s important to involve each other,” he said.
The committee, which includes Roy Swan, head of the Dalton Ford Foundation’s investment office, and Cheryl Effron, head of the Revson Foundation, is looking for a new head.
De Jesse, whose wife taught Dalton, first came to Preparation 35 years ago.
“Since then, I’ve admired Dalton for seeing the best of each student and then bringing it back,” he wrote.