Jim Eagen '88
Head of School, Synapse School
Jim Eagen believes that when schools and their leaders focus less on what to change and, more importantly, embrace constant change in order to develop the critical skills of implementing change, transformation in education is possible. Jim has enjoyed a wonderful and long career in independent schools, first as a student, then as classroom teacher, coach, and administrator. Now he is in his 11th year as the head of school at Synapse, a one-of-kind TK-8 lab school in Menlo Park, CA, where instructional design has been reimagined with the learner at the center.

As head, Jim has led a team in creating a dynamic educational environment where social and emotional learning is the foundation on which Synapse’s unique neuroscience-informed learning framework is applied. Synapse has grown exponentially in size and impact under his leadership and has earned a reputation for being a place where students, teachers, and families thrive in large part due to Jim’s vision and energy. When not at Synapse, presenting about Synapse, or talking to just about anyone who will listen to him about Synapse, he can often be found on a bike, on a run, or laughing and learning with family and friends.