Head of School

Welcome to Emma!

I have spent the past eleven years dedicated to the education of girls. My own experience of growing up in female environments—in an all-girls' high school and as a classical ballet student and teacher—was essential in allowing me to find my voice. All-girls environments provided the support and challenge I needed to define who I am.

I am enthusiastic about leading Emma Willard School as a school where we foster a culture that believes that the best is yet to come, and in our school we seek not to replicate our world but to improve it.

Jenny Rao, Head of School

Jenny's Thoughts

List of 2 news stories.

  • Head of School Jenny Rao

    Rao Rumbles: What do you do when you feel like you're unqualified?

    By Head of School Jenny Rao
    Head of School Jenny Rao learned early in her tenure at Emma Willard School how inquisitive students can be. They were curious about the then-new head of school and had all sorts of questions. Ms. Rao took their interest to heart and instituted Rao Rumbles, an opportunity for students to submit their questions to be answered (either by Ms. Rao or by a special guest) during Morning Reports. In a recent edition of Rao Rumbles, Ms. Rao answered the question, “What do you do when you feel like you’re unqualified?”
  • Events in the United States Capitol

    Head of School Jenny Rao
    Yesterday we all were astounded with the violence at the United States Capitol. The cornerstone of American democracy is the peaceful transition of power. That peaceful transition was challenged, and yet, ultimately the people’s work of counting the presidential electors was completed. These events, like so many in the past year and beyond, weigh heavily on our minds.
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List of 1 items.

  • Learn more about Jenny Rao

    Jenny Rao grew up in Mexico City, daughter of a Mexican mother and a British/American father. Feeling the absence of role models for women in Mexico at the time, Jenny decided to attend college in the U.S. From researching schools without a college counselor, to translating her teachers' recommendations into English, to taking SAT's without ever having seen a practice test, Jenny overcame the challenges and ultimately was accepted at Bates College, Maine.
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285 Pawling Avenue, Troy, NY 12180 | P: 518.833.1300 F: 518.833.1815
Welcome to Emma Willard School, a private day and boarding high school for girls in Troy, NY, and a leader in girls' education for over 200 years.