Head of School Welcome

A Letter from
Dr. Dan Hickey

Anyone who is paying close attention to today’s educational landscape knows that the game is changing. No longer does conventional wisdom (or modern research) advise that the teacher perch at the front of the class to impart knowledge onto students...

The “sage on the stage” model has given way to methods that promote curiosity, collaboration, engagement, and advanced communication skills, all to craft and hone critical thinking and problem-solving. Upland Country Day School has been ahead of this curve since its founding in 1948. An intimate and personalized classroom environment in a bucolic campus setting, along with a longstanding philosophy of full participation, has fostered the development of these vital skills. Increased emphasis on learning to learn and reaching beyond one’s comfort zone, far more so than memorizing content, will prepare students for an ever-changing world as well as jobs that do not even exist yet.

These are all fine notions that you’ll find on many school websites, but what does this actually look like at Upland? In part, it looks like Bookworms and Junior Great Books, Lower School reading programs that incorporate real books, collaboration, and highly interactive lessons, which lead to engaging and insightful conversations about the text to enhance reading comprehension. Students look to the teacher for questions rather than answers. These programs lay the groundwork for the Harkness Method of Teaching in Upper School, a cornerstone of our highly specialized academic approach.

It also looks like the Kleberg IDEA Center, which exposes all of our students to STEAM and design thinking methodologies, further driving them to become innovative thinkers and creative problem-solvers, all while encouraging experimentation and inspiring a passion for learning.

At Upland, you will find equal parts purpose and joy. You will find a rigorous academic program supported and bolstered by a caring faculty and a culture of collaboration and collegiality among students. You will find an emphasis on character development cultivated in the classroom, on the playing fields, and through service. You will find rich exposure to the arts and creative life. Come see it live by scheduling a visit to our campus. I look forward to welcoming you to Upland!

Warm regards,


Daniel E. Hickey, Ed.D
Head of School

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Celebrating 75 Years

For 75 years, Upland Country Day School has been a community of thinkers and doers. Our challenging full-participation programming of academic, arts, and athletic programs nurture the strengths of each child, and develops graduates of character with a passion for learning. Learn how Upland creates lasting memories for all of our students.

Upland's Strategic Plan

Discover Upland Country Day School’s strategic goals, and the core initiatives designed to meet the dynamic needs of our students and greater community.

We Don't Do This Alone

Comprised of esteemed alumni, current and past parents as well as community visionaries, Upland Country Day School's Board of Trustees offer a diverse range of perspectives in order to strategically execute the mission and principles of The Upland Way.

William "Bill" W. Wylie, Jr.


Ambrose Carr

Board Member

Anthony J. Drexel Cadwalader, '79

Board Member

Pattie Morgan Miller

Board Member

David Harrington


E. Bradford "Brad" DuPont, Jr.

Board Member

Julie Gardner

Board Member

J. Charles Gerbron, Jr., '95

Board Member

Steven Friedemann

Board Member

Mary Pat Fralick

Board Member

Elizabeth Vannote

Board Member

Luke Bowen

Board Member

Phoebe Driscoll Fisher, M.D.

Board Member

Michael C. Goeller

Board Member

David Hoffman, M.D.

Board Member

Rodman Moorhead

Board Member

Mary Jean "MJ" Stenz

Board Member

Peter C. Thayer

Board Member

Nancy Wood

Board Member

What School Should Be

At Upland Country Day School, we believe each student should feel known, loved, and valued. We believe children rise to high expectations and thrive on meaningful challenges. We believe that a quality, private school education should be accessible to all learners. We believe that a great education is the adventure of a lifetime. Learn more:

"From the moment you drive down the tree lined drive, it's like entering a fairy tale. The students are happy to be there. The faculty works together like a family. The school produces well rounded, prepared, and confident young adults. It's amazing."

Explore Our Academic Programming

We believe children rise to our highest expectations, thrive on meaningful challenges, and never deserve anything less. Explore the multidimensional growth experience specifically designed to prepare each student for the future in each of our core schools:



Learning to spread your wings and fly.

Primary Center

(PreK – 1st)

Pairing unbridled enthusiasm and boundless curiosity.

Lower School

(2nd – 5th)

A focus on active, hands-on, inquiry-based work.

Upper School

(6th – 9th)

Building 21st century leadership and interpersonal skills.

Y9 Experience

(9th Grade)

Developing as role models and leaders for an entire student body.




The best way to experience Upland is to see our vibrant campus.


Your journey to Upland Country Day School starts today.

Dr. Dan Hickey

Head of School | Upland Country Day School

Dan Hickey has over twenty years experience working in independent education. He began his career in college admissions, working at both Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and American University in Washington DC. Dan also served as Director of Admissions for eight years at Archmere Academy, his alma mater. From there, Dan went to Tower Hill School where he served many roles over his eleven years including: Director of Admissions, English teacher, football coach, Head of Upper School and Assistant Head of School.

Dan graduated with honors from Dickinson College, where he was captain of the football team while earning a Bachelor’s Degree in English and minoring in Fine Art. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Literature at American University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. Dan and his wife Jessica have two sons, Aidan and Brendan, and a rambunctious dog named Barley.