Logan McGowan ’06 and the Value of a Firm Foundation

Logan McGowan ’06 understands the value of a firm foundation. With an MBA from the prestigious Stern School of Business at NYU, specializing in Technology and Entrepreneurship, and a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Notre Dame, he has counted on excellent educational institutions to support him in his professional journey. With that, he quickly shares that his appreciation for firm academic foundations dates back to his seven years in Oak Knoll’s Lower School.

“What drew our family to Oak Knoll was the education, first and foremost,” McGowan recalled. “My mom and my dad both worked as college professors at Union County College, and they grew up in Union County as well, so they knew the qualities and distinctions of all the schools in the area and chose Oak Knoll. They strongly believed that Oak Knoll would be an ideal environment to support my growth.”

McGowan’s parents noticed early on that he would need a school that celebrates individual achievement as he was already demonstrating reading prowess at the age of three. “From the start, the teachers were supportive of my being able to read before kindergarten,” McGowan related. “They didn’t hold me back in any sense.”

Meeting every child uniquely where they are in the learning process is an Oak Knoll signature, and faculty supported McGowan’s ambitions both in and outside the classroom. During the summer between his first and second-grade years, he won a reading competition in the Courier News after submitting numerous book reports, and was later published in the paper. 

“I read 57 books over that summer and was recognized at an assembly when I returned to school. That was a special validation,” he explained. “The teachers went out of their way to positively reinforce me for being willing to push myself academically. I think that had a lasting impact.”

By the time he reached grade 6, McGowan had a firm foundation for middle school. “The prevailing theme of my Lower School teachers was the way they went beyond just teaching the course or the curriculum,” he said. “They facilitated and ensured a healthy environment for all of us to grow, develop, and learn. They felt a responsibility to ensure positive outcomes for all the students in the class.”

In addition to his passion for reading, McGowan excelled in math and public speaking. He participated in math olympiads at Oak Knoll and, at Pingry, competed in national speech and debate competitions. He was president of the speech and debate team for three years at Pingry and captain of the golf team in his senior year. 

“I would say Oak Knoll did a great job of taking the seeds of where I was going academically and extracurricularly and developing them,” McGowan stated. “The way Oak Knoll approaches education is truly unique and special. Specifically for me, the encouragement and the support formed a strong foundation that led me to be successful at Pingry, Notre Dame, and eventually Stern. It was a special journey going from this precocious six-year-old kid to 12 years old and taking those next steps into adolescence and beyond.”