Meet Sarah Rutledge, Head of Upper School
Sarah Rutledge comes to PCS from The Chapin School in New York where she served as an arts educator, interdisciplinary curriculum designer, department chair, and dean of students. “I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to completely revamp the dance program when I began there over twenty years ago. As dance was a requirement for all students K-9, my goal was to make the program accessible, so that both students who considered themselves to be ‘dancers,’ and even those who didn’t, could thrive in the classes. With this in mind, I not only carefully scaffolded a K-12 dance program but also found meaningful ways to weave dance and other subjects together. I was eager to have students not only experience dance physically but also consider it through a scholarly lens. Expanding the arts across the curriculum is something that I know PCS has successfully done in the past and something I hope to continue to encourage and nurture in our programming, especially being that so many of our students identify as artists. And even those who don’t can surely gain a respect for the ways in which the arts reveal things about a society like culture, power, status, and resistance. Examining subjects like literature and history using an arts lens can enrich a students’ understanding of a text or a moment in time in ways that are revelatory.”
“We have an opportunity right now to reconnect with one another as a school community and to do that reconnecting with intentionality – to have our interactions with one another be purposeful and grounded in kindness and generosity of spirit.”
Sarah’s own commitment to the arts included work as a freelance dancer and choreographer in NYC as well as serving as the co-artistic director of her own modern dance company for 10 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in Dance Education and Arts Administration from New York University. She also earned a certification in School Management and Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Business School.
In joining PCS, Sarah sees so many exciting opportunities, especially in her work with PCS students, whose passions and commitments to their craft are inspiring, even in the face of the way the world has challenged young people over the past few years. “I have three sons, twins who are 16 and a son who is 10, and so I know first hand what parents and families have been going through. Young people have been saddled with feelings of disconnection, loneliness, uncertainty, and isolation. But we have an opportunity right now to reconnect with one another as a school community and to do that reconnecting with intentionality – to have our interactions with one another be purposeful and grounded in kindness and generosity of spirit, giving grace to one another where we can, remembering that we are all human beings, and we all have challenges in our lives. There are many ways to build community – both large and small – and I feel confident already, even after only one week back to school, that PCS students and their families are ready to join me and our faculty and staff in fostering an environment that is welcoming, connected, and cultivates a sense of belonging for every, single person in our community. It’s a ripe moment in our school and in the world, and I am so proud to be part of an institution that not only prioritizes our students’ scholarly and professional pursuits but also their social and emotional well being. Great things lie in the school year ahead – I feel certain of that.”