Karen Dresden, Head of School
Karen has been an educator since 1992, working for eight years as a teacher in D.C. Public Schools before becoming the founding principal of Capital City in 2000. She was involved in all aspects of the start-up of Capital City including developing the curriculum, hiring and training staff, and developing the school’s plan for accountability and assessment. Karen received the Major Achievement in Charters Principal of the Year Award in 2001.
Under Karen’s leadership, the school has received Middle States Accreditation and several awards, including the Public Charter School Board Chair’s Award for Outstanding Performance and the Mayor’s High Performing School Incentive Award in 2005; New Leaders for New Schools‘ EPIC Silver-Gain award in 2008; and Fight for Children’s Quality Schools Initiative award in 2009, which designated us as the top charter school in Washington.
Karen has presented at many national conferences including the Coalition of Essential School’s Fall Forum, Expeditionary Learning’s National Conference, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Meeting and Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Research Conference. In 2014-2015, she participated in the Leadership Greater Washington Signature Program.
Karen has an M.S. Ed. from Harvard University with a Concentration in Educational Leadership. She also has her M.S. Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University.
Outside of school, Karen enjoys hiking, swimming, biking, vegetarian cooking, traveling and spending time with her son, Darian.