Kalyan Balaven, the head of school at Dunn School in Los Olivos, has been selected to serve on the California Association of Independent Schools board of directors.
He is the first Dunn head of school to serve on the board.
Founded in 1941, the CAIS is responsible for establishing educational standards and ushering member schools through an accreditation program. Mr. Balaven had previously served with the association to help evaluate schools in the accreditation process.
“As a member of the board, I will help schools stay in line with their missions and remain accredited institutions in association with Western Association of Schools and Colleges,” Mr. Balaven said in a statement. “CAIS helps our schools in being responsive to growing trends and making sure our students are at the cutting edge of learning opportunities.”
Deborah Dowling, the CAIS executive director, said Mr. Balaven was chosen from a highly competitive pool of heads of school. She said selecting him was based on his strong experience in school accreditation, his broad understanding of school management, his legal background and his alignment with the association’s priorities.
“Kal brings a breadth of knowledge and experience to the CAIS board. He has a collaborative and charismatic personality that will inspire his fellow directors to take on the essential work that the board will be doing on behalf of our independent schools across California,” said Steve Morris, board president of The San Francisco School.
The appointment caps a busy first year at Dunn for Mr. Balaven, who launched a video and audio podcast titled “The Whole Student.” The 10-episode first season allowed notable guests to shine a spotlight on the teachers in their lives who put them on the path to becoming the leaders they are today.
“The Whole Student” podcast is published on YouTube and the Dunn School website. The audio format of the show can also be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music and other podcasting platforms.
A published author, Mr. Balaven has written articles for multiple publications throughout the year, most recently a guest essay in the Enrollment Management Association’s Spring 2022 edition of The Yield magazine.
Headlining the “Influencers + Innovators” section, Mr. Balaven promoted the concept of blending storytelling with digital marketing and innovative curriculum to optimize reach.
Under Mr. Balaven, Dunn School launched the Emergency Ukrainian Student Scholarship, which supports a Dunn student from Ukraine whose family was displaced by the Russian invasion. Dunn School quickly expanded its scope to secure funding to bring additional displaced students from Ukraine to campus. In all, the school will begin the upcoming school year with five Ukrainian students.