Science & Arts Academy Head of School Awarded The Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership Fellowship

  • Photo of Tim Costello, Head of School

    Photo of Tim Costello, Head of School

Joanna Zisis
Updated 1/15/2020 12:34 PM

Tim Costello, Head of School at Science & Arts Academy (SAA) in Des Plaines, has been awarded a fellowship for the 2020 Klingenstein Heads of Schools Program, at Columbia University's Teachers College. Mr. Costello is one of only 20 to be accepted to the program each year, selected from a competitive pool of school heads from all around the world.

The two-week fellowship begins on January 26, when Mr. Costello will join 20 independent and international school heads at Columbia University in New York City. Through intensive study and collaboration, school heads will examine current educational issues, dive into educational philosophy and ethics, and study diversity, equity, inclusion. They will also visit a variety of schools in New York and share their own practices and learning with each other.


"I am excited for this opportunity to elevate Science & Arts Academy on this stage and look forward to growing my skills as a school leader. This is also an amazing opportunity to work closely with 19 other heads from around the world. I am grateful for SAA to have a seat at this table, and look forward to sharing my takeaways with the SAA community."

Science & Arts Academy (SAA) is an independent, not-for-profit day school for gifted students in junior kindergarten through eighth grade in Des Plaines, Illinois. SAA commits to creating a stimulating learning experience by providing educational offerings suited to our students' varied levels of development. Serving nearly 270 students from over 70 Zip Codes, our supportive community encourages students to embrace their potential and cultivates their academic abilities, creative talents, and emotional growth.

Mr. Costello has over 20 years of experience in education, having served as a teacher, vice principal, division head and head of school. Tim graduated from Villanova University with a degree in business administration, and earned a master's in school leadership from the University of San Francisco. Before SAA, Tim served as founding Middle School Head at Open Window School in Bellevue, WA. Tim was named SAA's seventh head of school in late 2012 and officially assumed the role in July, 2013. SAA's mission aligns with Tim's educational beliefs and the school's commitment to gifted learners resonated as both a parent and an educator.

Mr. Costello is active with the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS), participating on multiple planning committees and chairing several school accreditation teams. He also serves on the boards of the Lake Michigan Association of Independent Schools (LMAIS) and Roycemore School.

In 1977, The Klingenstein Fund established the Joseph Klingenstein Fellows, the first university-based leadership training for those in the independent school field. The Fellows Program began with twelve participants and over the years Klingenstein Center offerings have grown to include five programs serving early career teachers, mid-career educators and administrators and heads of schools. The Center currently has nearly 4000 alumni in 49 U.S. states and territories and 54 countries working in schools around the world and has been credited with contributing to the professionalization of the field. The Center has sustained a reputation for developing more informed and better prepared leaders to confront independent and international school challenges and possibilities in a rapidly-changing world.

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