Welcome from the Head of School

Welcome to Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School!

When our School was founded in 1764, its mission was a simple one: to provide young men of the New York Royal Colony with the Latin and Greek grammar they would need to study the classics at King’s College, now known as Columbia University. Yes, the School was only for boys and those boys were the colonial subjects of England’s King George III. It is doubtful that anyone at the time imagined that 258 years later the School itself would have declared independence from the University and would be the thriving source of academic, artistic and athletic education for students from Pre-k to 12th Grade.

I am inspired daily by the energy and passion of our over 1200 students and 400 faculty and staff as they learn, teach, create and dream together on our Upper West Side campus. They are always reaching for excellence in an environment that is mindful of the healthy balance of passion, hard work, curiosity and fun that promotes learning and achievement. We thrive as one School in the shared belief that a balanced education leads to a powerful life.

The world has changed since 1764. CGPS has adjusted to the times by meeting the educational needs of New York City students with a vibrant program, a stimulating faculty and a welcoming community.  CGPS offers every student a safe community in which to discover and develop their passions in an environment that values balance as a means to promote growth and challenge.

I am proud to welcome you to our online community. There is much to discover and experience. If you have questions or would like to learn more about us, contact our Admission Office at admission@cgps.org


Dr. William M. Donohue

Head of School

Head of School's Office

Oshrit Ozoulay
Assistant to the Head of School
212.749.6200 x202

Or please contact us through our form here.



Dr. William M. Donohue was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. He has a B.A. in English from the University of Maryland, College Park, a Master's Degree in Counseling from George Washington University, an advanced degree in Educational Administration from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Donohue has worked in the field of education for his entire career, in both independent and public schools. He began by teaching English at Good Counsel High School, in Montgomery County Maryland, where he remained for 14 years in the roles of teacher, Guidance Counselor, Director of Admissions and Director of Studies.

He then served as the Director of Guidance in the Byram Hills Public School District in Armonk, New York, where he remained for 27 years, serving as High School Principal, Assistant Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent and, finally, District Superintendent. During his tenure as Superintendent, Byram Hills High School became one of the few public schools in the nation to send more than 50% of its graduates to Tier One colleges. The district was also recognized by Intel for developing one of the five best Authentic Science Research programs in the world. 

In 2017, Dr. Donohue became only the 14th Head of School at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School since its founding in 1764.