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Daniel Koch

Headmaster from September 2022

Dr Daniel Koch is currently the Senior Deputy Head (Vice Master) at Bedford School. He came to Bedford from South Hampstead High School in London, where he was Head of Sixth Form. Prior to that he was Head of History and a resident boarding tutor at Worth School in West Sussex.

Dr Koch is originally from upstate New York. His surname is of German origin (pronounced the anglicised way, as in ‘scotch’). Another branch of his family came from Leicestershire. He has lived in England since 2003. He completed a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) at the University of Oxford supported by an Overseas Research Studentship. Prior to that he studied History and French at the State University of New York at Albany on a Presidential Scholarship, graduating summa cum laude (with highest distinction). He spent a term at the Sorbonne, Université de Paris, as part of his degree. He also lived in Germany and taught English as a second language there.

He is a keen sportsman. Growing up in New York, he played American Football and Baseball. At Oxford, he rowed in the Christ Church 1st VIII. Currently he coaches rugby. He enjoys running and triathlon. He is a member of the Bedford Harriers Athletic Club. In the last few years, he has run several marathons, qualified for the GB age-group duathlon European championships, and completed Ironman UK, consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and a marathon-distance run.

Dr Koch is the author of Ralph Waldo Emerson in Europe: Class, Race and Revolution in the Making of an American Thinker, published in 2012 and recently reissued by Bloomsbury in paperback. He has contributed several academic chapters and articles to various scholarly publications and has written for a range of popular periodicals and newspapers as well. His main interests are American and transatlantic history. Recently, he has published in the Washington Post, The New England Quarterly, The Journal of the American Revolution and Independent Schools Magazine. He is also interested in family history, languages, and literature.

Dr Koch’s father was in the U.S. Air Force and died when he was 16, an event that led him to want to work in schools and support children and teenagers. He has led on pastoral care, safeguarding and extra-curricular provision at Bedford School. He is equally committed to the academic attainment and intellectual development of his pupils. At South Hampstead, he introduced the innovative ‘Great Ideas’ curriculum in the Sixth Form, which continues to run.

His family are looking forward to moving to Loughborough. His wife, Laura, studied PPE at Oxford and works in the UK Civil Service. Laura is from Greater Manchester. Her family is of South African origin, from the Cape Coloured community, while her father’s side of the family is Jewish, originally from Riga. Their two sons, Samuel and Jacob, are very excited at the prospect of living near the National Space Centre and hope to join Fairfield in September.