Pearl Rock Kane, former director of Teachers College’s Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership, died in late February.

In 1977, on leave from New York City’s Dalton School, Kane arrived at TC in the first cohort of Klingenstein Fellows. The program’s creator, Trustee John Klingenstein (who died last summer), soon tapped Kane to become the Center’s director, and she went on to earn a doctorate and become the first tenured woman in the Department of Educational Administration. She led the Klingenstein Center for 37 years, was named TC’s Klingenstein Family Professor and built the Center into the preeminent organization of its kind.

Kane’s famous dictum was that leadership is a behavior, not a position or a title. She immersed her students in the study of moral leadership, teamwork and diversity, while striving to attract more women and people of color. She infused the preparation of independent school leaders with new intellectual richness, applying theories of change and organizational behavior, tackling issues such as teacher attrition and presenting new information on brain research, child and adolescent development, and curriculum design. And at a time when most administrators were former teachers who had learned on the job, Kane introduced courses on ethics, law, marketing, finance, cognitive development and negotiation.

Please join us for a celebration of the life and legacy of Pearl Rock Kane

Sunday, April 28, 2019 | 1:00 p.m.

Today, the Center, led by Nicole Brittingham Furlonge, offers five programs that serve leaders and aspiring leaders throughout their careers and reaches educators worldwide through the Klingbrief newsletter and The Science of Learning: What Every Teacher Should Know free online course through EdX.

“Pearl’s passing is a major loss to our community,” said TC President Thomas Bailey, “but we are thankful that her humanity, decency, vision, and love live on through the Center she helped create and build, and through Pearl’s own students, who have helped shape countless young people into engaged, responsible and productive adults.”

Kane received TC’s President’s Medal of Excellence at a special gala event in April 2018. “As both a researcher and an advocate for equity and social justice, I cannot imagine a better home for the Klingenstein Center,” she said, adding, “John Dewey believed that education isn’t merely preparation for life – it is life. In the most personal and literal sense, that’s been true for me.”                      

To honor Kane’s memory, contribute to the Pearl Rock Kane Scholarship Fund, benefiting students enrolled in the programs of the Klingenstein Center, at