The Village School of Naples, an independent school serving students in PreK3 through 12th grade, today announced that Head of School Dennis Chapman has earned his EdD in Educational Leadership from The University of Pennsylvania – Graduate School of Education, which consistently ranks among the top programs in the country.

Chapman’s three-year journey through his doctoral studies was marked by rigorous research and a passionate dedication to improving independent school education. His main focus during his studies was utilizing the information he was learning at Penn to continually improve The Village School, including his dissertation on “Servant Leadership and Teacher Retention at Independent Schools: Examining the Role of the Head of School.”

“This remarkable accomplishment highlights Dennis’ unwavering commitment to lifelong learning and dedication to enhancing education for all students,” said Theo Etzel, Board Chairman for The Village School. “We are confident that the fresh insights from his studies will further enhance our learning environment and strengthen our community bonds.”

A native of Miami, Chapman has more than 20 years of independent school leadership experience and 25 years of non-profit experience. He joined The Village School in 2018 after serving as President and Head of School at The New School in Fayetteville, Ark. Before that, he was Associate Head of School for The Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota.

A visionary leader, Chapman recently was elected to the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) Board of Directors. He will join the board in July. Founded in 1954, FCIS is the premier accrediting body for independent schools in Florida working to both set the standards and advance the quality of independent private school education across the state.

Chapman earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Trinity International University and his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida. He presents annually at independent school conferences nationwide and has received nearly a dozen industry awards for his work in school marketing.

Located at 6000 Goodlette-Frank Rd., The Village School of Naples originally began as The Caring Place Preschool in 1985 as an outreach at North Naples United Methodist Church. In 2000, the church relocated to the present campus location and added The Village School, beginning with K-2 and 37 students. In 2006, the school was accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Florida Kindergarten Council.

In 2009, parents asked The Village School for a middle school to be added and soon after added the middle school one grade a year to complete the eighth grade. Four years later, the Board of Trustees voted to add an upper school with 17 students in the fall of 2017.

In June 2020, The Village School celebrated its first-ever graduating class of seniors. The school currently has more than 150 upper school students and will graduate its largest senior class (33 students) this spring.

About Us:
The Village School of Naples is more than an institution; it is a vibrant community committed to shaping the future leaders of tomorrow. We are a private, co-educational, independent school offering PreK3 through 12th grade students an impactful educational experience in a nurturing Christian environment. Our commitment is to empower and inspire students to become critical thinkers and innovative problem solvers in the face of challenges in our ever-changing world. Founded in 2000, our educational approach is rooted in hands-on experiences, fostering an atmosphere where creativity and curiosity thrive. We believe in a holistic approach to education, emphasizing not only academic excellence but also the development of character, empathy, gratitude and a lifelong love of learning. Additionally, our Village Success Center, comprising The Learning Center, QUEST College Success, and the Bridge and Enrichment Programs, serves our students as a neurodiverse center designed to stretch the brightest, support those with language-based learning differences, and provide the very best in individualized college placement counseling. Our Upper School curriculum offers 20 AP Courses and in addition to now being fully accredited by SAIS, we are also fully accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and affiliated with the National Association of Independent Schools. We are proud members of the National Honor Society and were recognized by the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program Honor Roll as a Platinum level school.

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