Staff Report

After an extensive, year-long search, the Dunn School Board of Trustees has unanimously selected Kalyan Balaven, currently the director of teaching and learning at The Athenian School in Danville, California, to succeed retiring Head of School Mike Beck at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

Balaven is well-positioned to lead Dunn School and help it build on its leadership in whole student education. During his 15 years in education, including 12 years at The Athenian School, Balaven has held numerous teaching, administrative, and leadership roles. He has a track record of building innovative programs including the Inclusion Dashboard Consortium, a group of over 85 schools, recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools. He also serves on the California Association of Independent Schools Accreditation Board and is a liaison to the Mastery Transcript Consortium.

In addition to his leadership in education, Balaven holds a B.A in History from UC Berkeley, a J.D. from UC Davis School of Law, and a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from Harvard University.

As one of three finalist candidates who recently visited Dunn School to meet with faculty, staff, parents and students, the charismatic Balaven was well-received by the Dunn School community.

“We selected Kalyan for his deep commitment to the mission of our founder Tony Dunn — educating the whole child,” said Jay Conger, chairman of the board. “He will bring an engaging leadership style and a passion for learning and innovation that aligns wonderfully with the talents of our faculty, staff, and students.” 

“I became an educator to help prepare students to do good in the world, and I’m overjoyed in carrying on this work in service to the mission at Dunn, where the journey of a student is as valued as the end result and the end result is articulated as ‘responsible leadership in society,’” Balaven added. 

Balaven will move to the Dunn School campus with his wife Fatemeh and his two children, daughter Husna (age 11) and son Matin (7), when he takes over as Head of School in July 2021.