New Woodstock Principal Dr Jonathan Long has a wealth of experience in education and learning after more than 30 years working in schools in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and India. Prior to his arrival at Woodstock in January 2012, Dr Long was Principal of Mahindra United World College India, an international school in Pune, which he joined in January 2009. Before that he was Associate Director of Columba 1400, an award winning charity on the Isle of Skye in Scotland which works with young people from underprivileged backgrounds to develop their potential for leadership and change.
From 1998 to 2007 Dr Long served as both Principal and Chaplain at Aiglon College, an international boarding school in Switzerland, where he was responsible for seeing the school through a major period of transformation, growth and consolidation. This included the major re-structuring of the school, both in financial planning and expanding resources and facilities.
Before that Dr Long spent 12 years at the Dragon School in Oxford in England, a leading independent day and boarding preparatory school where he worked as Chaplain, Housemaster, and Head of Department. During this time Dr Long also held additional responsibility as the National Coordinator for Personal and Social Education within the UK's independent school sector, and was extensively involved in the development of values education and community building in schools and colleges across the country. In 1996 Dr Long won a Social and Economic Research Council award to undertake research at Oxford University looking into the factors which influence the moral and spiritual development of young people in a secular society. This culminated in a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University.
Born in Plymouth, England, in 1958, Dr Long has lived in Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, England, Switzerland, Scotland and India. He is married to Sue, who is working as a teacher in the learning assistance department in the senior school at Woodstock. They have two adult daughters - Zoë and Alice. Dr Long attended schools in the UK and South Africa and has received a number of educational and theological qualifications from the Universities of Natal, South Africa, Nottingham, Sheffield, Oxford and Trinity College, Bristol. Both Dr and Mrs Long share Woodstock's commitment to excellence in all areas and have grown to love living and working in India. Dr Long is committed to creating an educational experience at Woodstock which will enable young people to thrive in a world of enormous economic, environmental, technological, social and political change, all of which will challenge the values and beliefs of institutions and communities.
"My hope is that the education that Woodstock offers will always go well beyond the traditional goals of academic and exam success to develop the whole person and not just a part, to help each individual to become, in the words of our mission statement, 'visionary, articulate and ethical, equipped to achieve their full potential in leadership and in life'."
Dr Long also recognises the strategic importance of India in a global context in the 21st century, and how Woodstock's educational approach, rooted in a clear sense of location, tradition, values and community, "must be relevant, innovative and inspiring – combining the finest examples of best practice with the latest insights into how we learn and the nature of intelligence." His ultimate vision is for Woodstock graduates to be young people whose resilience, creativity and curiosity sustain ongoing inquiry and reflection, whose interest in others and the world around them transcends their self-interest, and who can act as courageous catalysts of change in an ever-changing world.
"I hope Woodstock students will be known as far-sighted, empathetic and influential in shaping future frontiers of possibility. In this way, one on one, one by one, and then in partnerships, we will extend our influence for good in India and beyond – holding out an educational vision of hope which is at the same time supremely relevant and uniquely effective."
Dr Long has a wide range of hobbies and interests. He holds a pilot's licence and has flown light aircraft to many destinations in Europe, and sailed extensively in the Ionian Sea off Greece. He is passionate about motorcycles and owns a 1968 Jawa 250 which he restored himself. He enjoys fitness training and running, and has completed three Ironman triathlons, the Comrades 100km ultra marathon in South Africa, and a 4000km trek across the Sahara desert in a Land Rover. He has also extensively explored the deserts of North Africa over a 12-year period, both by camel and vehicle. One of his ambitions is to visit the remote Gilf Kebir plateau in south west Egypt to see the Cave of Swimmers rock carvings, featured in the novel and film The English Patient.
Dr Long sums up his personal philosophy in the words of the famous Scottish historian and novelist, John Buchan "Our task is not to put the greatness back into humanity - but to elicit it - for the greatness is there already".