About Thomas Cangiano

Thomas Cangiano is a veteran educational leader, with over 30 years of experience. A Head of School since 2007 in both US independent schools and at one of the oldest US educational institutions abroad, the American College of Sofia in Bulgaria, Tom offers the knowledge of an American approach to education as well as the administrative skill sets learned by a vast experience working in challenging situations.

Tom's background, experience, and qualities match what ACS needs in these extremely challenging times. His calm, rational, and communicative leadership style -- honed over years of management experience -- will be pivotal in these times of high pressure and rapidly changing circumstances. Tom's approach to finding pragmatic solutions and empowering the school's leadership team will enable him to be effective and impactful. Tom is no stranger to challenging environments. His experience in emerging markets -- including stints in Bulgaria and Hungary -- will help him understand the Lebanese context and draw best practices from his previous experience.

Tom brings with him an American approach to education and deep skills in both curriculum development and administrative development (fundraising, strategic planning). On the academic side, Tom holds degrees from top US Universities - a B.A. from Middlebury College; an M.A.T. from Tufts University; and an M.A. and M.Phil. in History from Columbia University. On the administrative side, he has led several school restructuring efforts, oversaw the development of new facilities across science, innovation, and sports, and has raised $40 million for educational institutions he was leading.

Tom brings insights and best practices to ACS from his work at some of the oldest and most prestigious schools in the world. Tom comes to us from Chicago, where he has been Head of School at Gems World Academy since 2018. Prior to that, Tom has served for eight years as President of the prestigious preparatory and boarding school in Pittsburgh, PA - Shady Side Academy. He also served as President of the American College of Sofia, Bulgaria. In addition to holding these positions, Tom Cangiano has been in the classrooms of schools such as the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey (ranked in the top ten schools in the US), Trevor Day School in New York City, as well as the American International School, Budapest, Hungary.

Tom Cangiano and his wife Linda have three children, George at the University of Denver, Grace at Brown University, and Celia at Lawrenceville.

Tom Cangiano, Head of School - ACS Beirut

Thomas Cangiano
Head of School

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