Walter Crain Fellowship

Hotchkiss | Walter Crain
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Hotchkiss | Charles Frankenbach

“Walter somehow inspired in students both mild trepidation and deep respect simultaneously! With the scowl and growl came the glint of eye and the slowly emerging grin. Students just knew that he cared for them, as he encouraged, cajoled, and reprimanded them. That's no mean feat. Walter's was an effortless art”

–Charlie Frankenbach P ̕12, ̕16, The Russell Murray Bigelow Teaching Chair and Head of English Department


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“The Walter J. Crain Fellowship is an important partnership that enacts the Center's commitment to diversify the leadership pipeline in independent and international schools. . . Together, we can deeply diversify leadership throughout our schools and build leadership capacity to lead more equitable and inclusive schools in which all persons thrive.”

–Nicole Furlonge, Klingenstein Family Chair Professor of Practice and Director of The Klingenstein Center Columbia, Teachers College, Columbia University


The Walter J. Crain Fellowship, an innovative partnership between Hotchkiss and the Klingenstein Center of Teachers College at Columbia University is designed for professionals aspiring to leadership roles at independent schools who have demonstrated a commitment to working with diverse populations and supporting an inclusive learning community for all students. 

Fellows pursue a Master’s Degree from Columbia University Teachers College in private school leadership while earning a salary teaching at Hotchkiss or working in one of the School’s administrative departments. The Crain Fellowship is a four-year appointment. 

Hotchkiss launched the Walter Crain Fellowship Program in 2021. The School is making a $1 million investment in the program.

The first two Walter J. Crain Fellows, Kinyette Henderson and Claudia McGuigan, joined the faculty in the summer of 2021.

The program is named in honor of Walter Crain P’86,’89, a beloved teacher, coach, and leader and the first Black educator on the Hotchkiss faculty.  Over his 33 years at the School, Walter Crain was dedicated to meaningful inclusion and belonging for all students, faculty, and staff. The fellowship will serve as a lasting tribute to his legacy. 

The immersive, four-year experience includes: 

  • A compensated role in one of Hotchkiss’s primary academic or administrative departments; admissions, college advising, teaching, alumni and development, or the business office. 
  • A Master’s Degree from Columbia University Teachers College earned through the Klingenstein Center’s Two-Summers Master’s Program.
  • Robust mentorship both at Hotchkiss and at the Klingenstein Center.
  • On-campus housing at Hotchkiss in beautiful Lakeville, Connecticut.
  • Substantive support in seeking a position in administrative leadership upon completion of the program.

...all at no cost to selected fellows.