The Calhoun School
Principal: Steve Nelson
433 West End Avenue
Award: Outstanding School Leader
Describe your school’s core educational philosophy.
We are quite explicitly and intentional progressive and we are considered among America’s leading progressive schools, including a significant international following.
Tell us about a few of the school’s achievements or distinguishing programs.
Our commitment to diversity and social justice has been recognized broadly, including our documentary film, “I’m Not Racist . . . Am I?” Our innovative Green Roof and self-created food program have been featured on NPR, PBS, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and others. Our unique scheduling and curriculum in US was subject of a feature article in the New York Times. Our biggest challenges include maintaining our progressive mission in an increasingly difficult national education environment and managing a diverse enrollment in Manhattan’s very expensive economic context.
The documentary mentioned above was selected for use by the State Department, by the State of Colorado and more than 300 schools and colleges.
What do you love about your school?
I love the joy and humanity that we radiate every day. I love having real relationships with hundreds of children, young and old. I love our parent community, which shares our commitment to engaging, joyful education. I enjoy an eclectic, brilliant and kind group of colleagues. My challenges are also my joys. The work is hard and deeply satisfying.