Pomfret Announces New Grauer Director

Pomfret Announces New Grauer Director

Gwyneth Connell emerged from a field of more than 70 qualified applicants to take the top spot.


Following an extensive nationwide search, Gwyneth Connell has been selected to lead the Grauer Institute for Excellence and Innovation in Education at Pomfret School. She replaces founding director Jamie Baker, who stepped down over the summer.

"Gwyneth emerged from a very deep and talented pool of approximately seventy candidates from across the country," said Head of School Tim Richards. "During her two days on campus, she impressed members of our community with her intellect, her enthusiasm, her sense of humor, and her passion for education. We feel strongly that Gwyneth will be the perfect leader as we launch into chapter two of the Grauer Institute at Pomfret."

Established in 2014, the Grauer Family Institute is a place where thinking differently is celebrated and new ideas are nurtured. Through progressive program design, technological advancement, and strategic partnerships, Grauer is both a mechanism for mission-alignment and a catalyst for future growth. In particular, the institute makes significant resources available for faculty to undertake research and pursue professional development opportunities.

Connell currently serves as dean of teaching and learning at Blair Academy in New Jersey, where she has worked since 2015. In addition to her administrative duties at Blair, Connell teaches English, assists with theatrical productions, and performs dorm duty.

She holds a master's degree in private school leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University (2007) and a bachelor's degree in American studies from Amherst College (2000).

A veteran of independent school education, Connell brings a breadth and depth of experience to the position. Over the course of her career, she has taught history at Millbrook School in New York and Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, and served as dean of faculty at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts. Connell is a 1996 alumna of Peddie School.

"She also has a background in improvisational comedy," Richards said, "a surprisingly relevant skill as we look to the future of teaching and learning!"

With her husband Scott, an artist and academic tutor, their daughter Juno, and dog Rudy, Connell officially begins her life as a Griffin in June.