William J. Knauer

When The Harvey School began its second hundred years, it did so with a new head of school, William J. Knauer, who joined the community in 2016. Described by the school’s search committee as “a leader of deep understanding, creativity, and vision,” Bill has worked in independent and international schools for more than 30 years. 

Bill graduated from the University of Michigan in 1985 with a BA in Linguistics, and he holds two master’s degrees, one from Middlebury College, Bread Loaf School of English and the other from Trenton State College in Teaching English and ESL. He also has a certification from Columbia University in Systems Analysis and a Diploma de Cultura from the University of Madrid. 

Bill began his career in education as a student teacher at the Khartoum American School in Sudan before moving to the Munich International School, where he taught IB English and English as an Additional Language (EAL). After four years in Germany, Bill returned to the United States and joined the faculty at the Riverdale Country School in New York, where he taught middle and high school English before taking on the role of educational technology specialist. From Riverdale, he and his wife and daughter moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he became the director of technology and head of computer science at the Packer Collegiate Institute. After five years in that role, Bill was promoted to assistant head of school at Packer. From there Bill became the head of the Benjamin Franklin International School, a co-ed day school in Barcelona, Spain. In 2016, he returned to New York to become Harvey’s seventh head of school. His wife, Eileen, is a learning specialist, and his daughter, Emiliana, is a member of The Harvey School Class of 2023 and will be attending Amherst College next year. 

When Bill is not at work, he likes to travel, hike, read, train in martial arts, and play hockey.