Klingenstein Center Staff Profiles
Pearl Rock Kane, professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, holds the Klingenstein Family Chair for the Advancement of Independent School Education. She earned a Master of Arts degree from Smith College and a doctorate from Columbia University. Professor Kane serves as the director of the Klingenstein Center and is the advisor for the master's degree programs. Professor Kane taught and served as an administrator in public and private schools in Michigan, Massachusetts and New York. She is a member of two boards, Uncommon Schools, a charter management organization that oversees nearly 50 schools and Brooklyn Prospect Charter School in Brooklyn, NY where she is a founding board member.
Professor Kane is the editor of three books—"The First Year of Teaching: Real World Stories from America's Teachers," "The Colors of Excellence: Attracting and Keeping Faculty of Color in Independent Schools," and "Independent Schools, Independent Thinkers." She has written numerous book chapters and published articles about independent schools on issues of leadership, governance, leadership transitions in international schools, professional development and the attraction and retention of teachers. Currently, she is conducting research on the interaction of independent and charter schools and on how gender influences career aspirations. Professor Kane is the recipient of a number of honors and awards including an award for teaching excellence from Teachers College, an outstanding achievement award from the Heads Network, and an award for promotion of international schools from ECIS.
Kidest Fikremariam joined The Klingenstein Center in 2017. As program associate, she serves as executive assistant to the Director and provides general administrative management and support for all Klingenstein programs. Prior to joining the Klingenstein Center, she worked as an ESL teacher in Osaka, Japan as part of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She holds a B.A. in political science and East Asian languages and cultures from Columbia, and has studied at the School of African and Oriental Studies in London, as well as International Christian University in Tokyo.
Jessica Sepke manages communications and special projects at the Klingenstein Center and is a alumna of the Full-Year Master's Degree program. Prior to coming to New York, she worked at Saint Mary's School in Raleigh, NC in a variety of roles including Director of Technology and Communications, computer science and chemistry instructor, and residential faculty. Between her time as a Klingenstein student and returning to join the staff, she served as the operations director at Harlem Village Academies High School.
Pete Simpson has been assistant director at The Klingenstein Center since 2012. A graduate of two Klingenstein Center programs, the Full-Year Master’s Degree program and the Summer Institute for Early Career Teachers, Pete holds a variety of responsibilities, including recruiting, admissions, financial aid and teaching. Prior to his time at the Klingenstein Center, Pete worked for two great independent schools - Journeys School of the Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, WY and Park School in Brookline, MA.
Cindy Uejio has been with the Klingenstein Center since 2003. As operations manager she handles the Center’s contracts, requisitions and reimbursements, as well as the administration of the non-degree programs, the Klingenstein Heads of Schools program and the Summer Institute for Early Career Teachers. She earned an M.S. in information and digital resource management from Columbia and a B.A. in sociology/anthropology from Carleton College, spending a year in Kyoto, Japan.