A Head of School with Experience on Three Continents
In July, Jennifer Weyburn will succeed Bruce L. Dennis as Packer’s Head of School, only the 10th in nearly 175 years.
Dr. Jennifer Weyburn has worked as an educator and school leader around the world, but she has local roots. She was raised in Westchester, earned a B.A. in history at Yale University, and began her teaching career at Saint Ann’s School.
“Ever since I began my career, just down the street, I’ve been impressed by Packer’s reputation both for academic excellence and for its authentic commitment to developing students as individuals.”
After a few years of teaching Middle School, she moved to Hong Kong, then Ningbo, China, and then back to New Haven, Connecticut to lead the teaching program at the Yale-China Association.
Even though she had previously studied French and Spanish, it was Mandarin that sparked her fascination with the differences among languages and cultures. Struggling to speak Chinese as an adult also influenced her perspective as an educator. Experiencing “the anxiety that learners sometimes feel” helped her become “a much better teacher.”
In 2002, she returned to New York, earning an M.A. in English education from Teachers College, Columbia University and then teaching at New Rochelle High School.
When her husband, Garrett Kyle, began the M.B.A. program at Emory University, Dr. Weyburn moved to Atlanta International School. She started her school leadership journey there, serving as a grade dean and Middle School Head. During that time, Dr. Weyburn earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership and policy at Vanderbilt University, and had two children, Will and Louise, now 13 and 10.
After nine years in Georgia, the family moved to China, where she became the Deputy Head of School for Educational Programs and Student Learning at Shanghai American School. “Going to Shanghai was a return to my love of Chinese culture. We wanted to offer that to our children.”
Three years ago, they moved to Denmark, where Dr. Weyburn now leads Copenhagen International School. She admires the Danes’ commitment to healthy living: “exercise, R&R, work, families, and good eating. Life in balance.”
Though they have cherished their years abroad, Dr. Weyburn called her appointment to serve as Packer’s 10th Head of School a “dream come true.” The whole family is eager to call Brooklyn home, and her children are excited to come to Packer.
As she settles into her new position, she looks forward to asking deep questions: “What are the things that everybody cherishes? What are your recent successes? Once you understand the path the School has been on, you can guide the next steps.”
An enthusiastic and gregarious learner, she traces her love of school leadership to the relationships she makes. At the 100-year-old Shanghai American School, connecting with alumni was an unexpected pleasure, and she looks forward to meeting many generations of Packer students.
“Engaging with children and families is one of the greatest joys of being an educator and school leader. Packer has flourished for so long on a tradition of close partnerships with families and deep connections between students and faculty. It’s an incredible foundation to build on, and I look forward to the work immensely!”