The Frederick Gunn School Names Dean of Academics

Jason Koza, Dean of Academics

The Frederick Gunn School has named Jason Koza of Denver, Colorado, an experienced administrator and teacher, to lead its academic program as Dean of Academics beginning July 1, 2024. Koza’s appointment followed an intensive, three-month search process that drew interest from a diverse pool of applicants from across the country and around the world. 

Raised in Connecticut, Koza served for nearly a decade as a Math Department Chair and Math Preceptor at Colorado Academy, where he also served for five years as Dean of Students for 7th grade, and for two years as Head of Special Administrative Projects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in child development from Tufts University and a master’s in educational leadership from Regis University in Denver. 

“From the start, we were seeking a dedicated teacher with administrative experience who aligned with our values and who would bring energy and enthusiasm to the position. Jason fits that description perfectly,” said Associate Head of School Seth Low P’26.

Koza began his teaching career following a two-year assignment as an environmental educator and community leader with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. Prior to joining Colorado Academy in 2014, he taught math at the Latin School of Chicago, where he also coached cross country and baseball, and taught math and coached cross country and soccer at Covenant Preparatory School in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was also department chair. At Colorado Academy, he coached cross country and swimming, coached Math Club, and served as an interim leader for outdoor trips, backcountry skiing trips, and a 10-day community service and cultural immersion program in Costa Rica.

“Jason brings a combination of excellence in academic leadership and a boarding school sensibility. He understands the profound possibilities of seeing students on the field or the ice, and having an advisee in your classroom, or hosting a study session during study hall; these things are not extraneous. They are essential to the teaching and learning model that is only possible in an intentional and integrated boarding environment like The Frederick Gunn School,” said Head of School Emily Raudenbush Gum.

At Gunn, Koza will be responsible for leading and coordinating the school’s academic program as well as supporting the continued professional growth of the teaching faculty. He will lead the Academic Office, including the DIrector of Studies and Registrar, oversee the library, and partner with the Dean of Students and the Athletic Director to integrate and coordinate the three major spheres of school life.

"I am extremely honored to be the next Dean of Academics at the Frederick Gunn School and excited to lead an academic program where conscientiousness, curiosity, and intentionality are celebrated, and where the community has an excitement for growth,” Koza said. “In my interactions with students, their genuine investment in the academic program, as well as the school as a whole, was clear. I was impressed with the authenticity and openness that they brought to our conversations, a strong indicator that Gunn is an environment where the faculty are truly helping the students realize their full potential from a holistic perspective.”

Koza will work closely with Gunn’s Department Chairs and lead the Curriculum Committee to align and evolve the academic program with the school’s Core Values and Design Pillars. He will serve as a member of the Leadership Team and will engage in all aspects of the community as an advisor, house parent. teacher and coach.  

“Growing up in Connecticut, I have always known The Frederick Gunn School to be a place where a strong sense of community is at the forefront,” Koza said. “Upon visiting campus this past December, I was able to see and feel, firsthand, that Gunn is a place that truly lives its mission. From the student enthusiasm around the annual holiday concert traditions, to the vibrancy of the crowd as Santana Sinvilcin ’24 scored his 1,000th point in Gunn basketball, to the devotion and care that each faculty showed for their students in their questions and during our conversations, I was immediately drawn in and could genuinely see that the school values aren’t just limited to the paper they are written on.” 

At Colorado Academy, Koza received the Frances Newton Outstanding Faculty Award and served as a member of both the Strategic Planning Board and the Diversity Team. He earned his Colorado Principal License, and completed a year of intensive training through the Institute for Social and Emotional Learning.

Asked for an example of how he has worked to drive innovation in his classroom or department, Koza explained that for several years, he worked with the Director of Educational Technology at Colorado Academy to build a more experiential math curriculum. His goal was to maintain the same core content ideas, but in fun, novel ways, incorporating technology such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and new software programming. As a result of the changes that were made, students were able to see actual mathematical content applied to real-world scenarios, and see how STEM and the arts can come together to create a fun and innovative learning experience.

“This is an exciting time at Gunn, in regards to both the strengths of now and the direction the school is headed. I look forward to starting my position this summer and making The Frederick Gunn School the new home for me and my family," he said.

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