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 named president of the NYSAIS Board of Trustees

    Head of School Jenny Rao Elected President of NYSAIS Board of Trustees

    The New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) has elected Jenny Rao, Emma Willard School’s 17th head, as president of the board of trustees. Founded in 1947, the Association is made up of over 200 independent schools in New York State and is affiliated with both the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the New York State Coalition for Independent and Religious Schools (NYSCIRS).
  • Welcome to the 2022-2023 School Year

    Head of School Jenny Rao
    The fall semester at Emma Willard School is off to a strong start! We have seen joyous reunions and budding friendships as our students, new and returning alike, begin to build connections. The rituals of our daily life—classes, athletic and artistic endeavors, meals together in our dining hall—ground us in our pursuits and weave us closer together. 
View All News

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. 

PLEASE NOTE: All visitors to campus must check in with Campus Safety, which can be found at the red flag entrance to Sage Hall (Pawling Ave. entrance).