UCC appoints Dr. Jeff Aitken as Head of the Upper School
A community message from Principal Sam McKinney welcoming Dr. Aitken, who joins the College on August 1.
I’m very pleased to share that following a global recruitment search, we have appointed Dr. Jeff Aitken as our new Head of the Upper School, effective August 1, 2021. Dr. Aitken is an exceptional educational leader with extensive international experience, including leadership roles in several International Baccalaureate (IB) schools.
Dr. Aitken joins UCC from Dulwich College, Singapore, where he currently serves as Head of the Senior School. A Canadian who has taught internationally for much of his career, he began his work in education in the U.K. Prior to Dulwich College, Dr. Aitken was Head of School at St. John's Kilmarnock School in the Waterloo Region, and Assistant Head of Tanglin Trust School, Singapore, where he was responsible for curriculum as well as managing the IB, IGCSE and A Level programs. He was also at the American International School in Caracas, Venezuela and the British International School of Penang, Malaysia. His global outlook and his commitment to the student experience will further strengthen our ability to deliver transformational learning experiences.
As a dedicated leader, Dr. Aitken has demonstrated the ability to successfully implement strategic and educational innovations across multiple schools. He has worked extensively for the IB, as a Deputy Chief and Principal Examiner, a Teacher Workshop Leader and a Professional Development Evaluator for IB's Global Quality Assurance Framework. He also served as a member of the International Baccalaureate Heads Council, for three years as Vice-Chair.
Dr. Aitken’s academic background includes an honours degree from the University of Windsor, a PGCE from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, a master’s degree in Education from the University of Manchester, and a PhD in Education from Birmingham City University. His graduate studies focused on intercultural communication and educational management, and for his doctorate he developed curricula for engaging and empowering students through cultural understanding.
Dr. Aitken is looking forward to moving to Toronto and living on campus with his family. "We could not be more excited and honoured to be joining the Upper Canada College community," he says. "I feel strongly connected to UCC’s values and its vision to reflect the pluralism and promise of Canada."
On a personal note, I’m delighted to welcome Dr. Aitken to the school. We share a commitment to supporting students in their journeys to becoming their best selves. His global experience, humility and dedication to learning and teaching excellence will serve us well.