Meet Dennis Bisgaard, Our New Interim Head of School

Joining The Northwest School community on October 1, 2020, Dennis Bisgaard brings 15 years of wisdom and experience as Head of School in independent schools. His background includes international boarding and domestic programs, and extensive work in community building, strategic planning, financial management, admissions, and development.

“My focus as Interim Head of School will be to care for the school and its people and identify and advise the school on opportunities to celebrate its strengths,” says Dennis. “I’ll work to provide focus and strategies as to where to head next.”

Previously, Dennis was Head of School at Kingswood Oxford School in Hartford, CT, for 12 years, where he founded the Kingswood Oxford Leadership Institute for Educators of Color. Prior to that, he was Associate Head of School at Shady Hill School in Cambridge, MA, for six years, and Associate Dean of Faculty and Director of Diversity at Collegiate School in New York, NY, for six years, where he founded and directed The Collegiate School Teaching Institute for Educators of Color. Most recently, he served as the founding Head of School for Whittle School & Studios in Washington, D.C. 

Outside of teaching and administrative leadership, Dennis has participated in and presented at forums and conferences around the world, including the Think Tank on Global Education at Harvard University; the Global Education and Skills Forum, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Online Education Strategies for Independent Schools (OESIS) conference in Shanghai, China. 

Dennis was born in Germany and grew up in Denmark, where he also earned his first graduate degree, and studied in Canada and the U.S. before moving to the States permanently, 31 years ago. He later completed an MA in Educational Administration at Columbia University. Bisgaard speaks English, Danish, and German fluently, and also knows his way around Swedish, Norwegian, Latin, and French. He began his educational career in the U.S. as a classroom teacher, coach, advisor, and DEI practitioner.

Dennis and his wife Monica, who is an educator with a background in psychology, have two children: Nicolas, 22 years old and a senior at New York University, and Saudea, a junior in high school and an avid volleyball player. Dennis and Monica often do diversity work together. 

“Monica and I have always been community builders,” says Dennis. “This is one of the strengths we can bring to The Northwest School.” 

In this transition year, Dennis will be focusing on a few well-chosen priorities that build community and ‘set the table’ for the Permanent Head of School.