It is a tremendous privilege to have been selected as the Head of Sevenoaks School. The Sevenoaks education is unique: global in its outlook, yet also rooted in the local community, committed to service and partnership.
Mr Jesse Elzinga has been Headmaster at Sevenoaks School since September 2020. During this time, he has managed the school through the pandemic, overseen its successful exam results and supported the wellbeing of the school community, including being part of Harvard University’s ground-breaking Human Flourishing Program.
His aims for the future include widening access to Sevenoaks School with more free and assisted places, becoming carbon neutral, developing partnerships with other leading IB schools and furthering Sevenoaks School’s global outlook. He is committed to the school’s award-winning ethos of service and partnerships that connects us with our local community, and supports other communities around the world.
Jesse joined Sevenoaks School from Reading Blue Coat School in Berkshire, where he was Headmaster from 2016.
Before this, he was Director of Studies at Harrow, where he broadened the school’s academic curriculum. He also worked at St Edward’s School in Oxford as Director of Studies and as IB Coordinator where he helped introduce the IB Diploma and was a residential Assistant Housemaster. He started his career at Whitgift School as a teacher of Theology and Philosophy, the Assistant Head of Sixth Form and the Theory of Knowledge Coordinator.
He studied at Harvard University, where he gained a BA Honours cum laude in Comparative Religion and Philosophy, and at Oxford University, where his MSt focused on ethical philosophy.
Jesse was a three-time national champion rower at Harvard and Oxford, and then became a competitive cyclist, twice racing against Sir Bradley Wiggins at the British Time Trial Championships (although Jesse is keen to point out that Sir Bradley won, by a significant margin, on both occasions!). Jesse is also an Ironman triathlete and marathoner, and since moving to Sevenoaks, he can be spotted in the early morning running in Knole Park. Jesse’s wife, Elaina Elzinga, works in the investments team at the Wellcome Trust. Jesse and Elaina enjoy cooking, BBQing, travelling and they are Friends of the Royal Opera House and supporting members of England Rugby Club. They have three daughters and live in Sevenoaks close to the school.