Carol Maoz, Interim head of school, King School

Local heads of school in Westchester, Fairfield and Dutchess counties talk about lessons learned from the pandemic, inspiration, superpowers, what makes them smile and – in one case – the benefits of dogs on campus.

Formerly known as King Low Heywood Thomas — a confluence of three 19th-century founding schools — King School is a private, coeducational day school for prekindergarten through grade 12 in Stamford.

Carol Maoz recently joined King School as interim head of school, having completed an 11-year term as head of school at The Foote School in New Haven. The mother of three grown children, she has an undergraduate degree in kindergarten through eighth grade education and a master’s degree in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Maoz also has work experience in counseling as well as organizational development, management training, communication and team building in the high-tech sector.

Tell us something surprising about your school.

“Many may know that King draws from over 30 local towns, but you might be surprised to learn that our faculty and student body boast 65 different countries of origin. It is not surprising we have such a rich global studies program.”

How did your school cope during the pandemic? 

“King remained open for in-person learning all year round, with the option of virtual learning when needed. We made decisions based on our expertise as educators, and we were committed to relying on the strongest available scientific evidence and other data when making decisions about the health and safety of the school community. Most of all, we remained committed to making decisions that clearly align with King’s mission, values, virtues and strategic plan.”

Which aspects of running a school are most compelling to you?

“The opportunity to learn from and with students every day, the great honor of supporting the professional development of teachers and the role as a resource to parents as they navigate the challenges of parenting.”

What recent experience at school made you smile?

“Every day, I interact with the youngest children on campus and that can’t help but raise a smile. At all grade levels, our students ask deep and important questions. Engaging with them centers me every day on the importance and joy of our work and the privilege to do it.”

What superpower do you bring to the school?

“I was brought up to be humble, so this is a tough question.  The most meaningful feedback I have received is that I listen with an open heart and an open mind, that I am always present when I speak with people and that both students and families feel heard and seen by me.” 

 What led you to choose education as a career? 

“Picture a young girl in the first grade whose greatest pleasure is to go home after school and stand in front of her blackboard with her white chalk and teach her dolls what she had learned that day in school. That child was me. I knew from a young age that I wanted to teach. For me, teaching is more of a calling than an occupation. As educators, we truly play an important part in building a more just, kind and empathetic world.”

 Did you have a favorite teacher who affected your life? 

“Looking back, my second-grade teacher was one of my favorite teachers. She created a safe environment — safe to learn, to ask questions, to make mistakes and safe to be ourselves. I certainly remember her homemade brownies that she baked for the class, but it was that air of certainty that we were in a good place that remains with me. “Years later, my 12th grade criminology teacher impacted my life forever. Not only did he treat his students with respect, but he also made us feel that it was his honor to be teaching us. Long before the U.S. prison system was a topic of national concern, our teacher encouraged us to think about prison reform and to ask important questions. He valued our questions more than he valued having the correct answer.”

 What do you do to recharge in your free time?

“I read books, take late afternoon walks and spend time with my family — at least on FaceTime. And when I have the time, I indulge in binge-watching Netflix shows.”

King School at a glance

  • Head of school: Carol Maoz
  • Number of faculty and staff: 207
  • Student enrollment: 700
  • Annual tuition: $34,050 to $46,760

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