Is it possible to simulate for students the eye-opening, transformative experience of international travel in a virtual format? Over Winter Break, Director of Global Education and Engagement Julia Dunbar and History Department Chair Dr. Megan Jones gave it a try.
Following a comprehensive national search, led by Storbeck Search and Associates, Pingry is pleased to announce that Thu-Nga Morris will assume the role of Lower School Director, beginning July 1.
One of four finalists for the position, Ms. Morris was selected from an exceptional candidate pool that included national leaders in both public and independent schools. With more than a decade of experience in independent schools, she has spent the last five years at St. Edmund's Academy in Pittsburgh, where she has served in a variety of roles, including, most recently, as Assistant Head of School, PreS-8; Director of Academics; and Director of the Upper School. Overseeing the school's curriculum and instruction and strategic academic programming, Ms. Morris has also been the principal leader of St. Edmund's remote learning program. In prior roles at St. Edmund's, she served as Academic Dean and Director of Curriculum. During her tenure at the school, she was responsible for the direct oversight of four academic imperatives identified in its strategic plan: dynamic teaching, assessment and evaluation, faculty excellence, and diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, St. Edmund's has experienced a revitalization in its faculty growth and professional development, academic program, and equity and inclusion initiatives.
Prior to St. Edmund's, Ms. Morris spent five years as a K-12 science and biotechnology teacher at the Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City, where she held numerous academic and student life roles. She taught third and fifth grade science and led the middle school Costa Rica Field Studies Program in an effort to broaden students' awareness of sustainability issues and to expand opportunities for service learning. Launching her career as a biology teacher with Teach for America, she also taught science at Prep for Prep.
Ms. Morris earned national recognition when she was awarded a University of Pennsylvania-National Association of Independent Schools fellowship to research governance and head of school leadership in independent schools. As a first-generation undergraduate at Bowdoin College, she received her A.B. in Neuroscience and went on to complete a master's degree in Adolescent Education from Pace University as well as a Master of Education in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. This month, she will complete her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
Ms. Morris has published numerous papers in industry journals on a range of educational topics and regularly presents at professional conferences. Having served in a variety of teaching and leadership roles in independent schools—including all dimensions of academics, faculty growth and development, and school life—she brings to the Short Hills Campus a breadth of K-12 experience and leadership expertise.
"Pingry has long been defined by its time-honored values and commitment to excellence, and I am eager to join a community of exceptional educators dedicated to inspiring a love of learning in the lives of young children," she wrote in a letter to the community. "With so much that is happening in the world, I am grateful to have found my way to Pingry."
Head of School Matt Levinson P '21 remarked, "Thu-Nga has a proven track record of outstanding academic leadership, community building with a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, and tireless dedication to faculty growth and development. Additionally, she is unequivocally student-centered and understands what is needed to help each child reach his or her full potential."
Congratulations, Ms. Morris, and welcome!
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org