Welcome to St. Paul's School!
I invite you to get to know St. Paul's Episcopal School as you search for an academic home for your child and family.
This year begins my thirteenth as Head of School at St. Paul's (my 28th year overall as a head of school) and, as I tell my children, I have the best job in the world. I remember how anxious my husband and I felt as we looked for the right school for our two children. We were living in Boston and options were plentiful.
I'm going to suggest to you what my mother told me: Take your time, talk to the teachers, and trust your instincts.
With warm regards,
Head of School
Board of Trustees Names Josh Stern Head of School-elect
After a nationwide search, the St. Paul's Board of Trustees unanimously voted Josh Stern as the next Head of School.
Mr. Stern enthusiastically accepted the position, which he will assume on July 1, 2014. Mr. Stern has been with the St. Paul's community for fifteen years. His tenure began as a teacher, and he has spent time in the Administration as the Assistant Head of School. He is currently the Director of Sixth Grade and Middle School. Said the Board of Trustees: "In his time at St. Paul’s, Josh has demonstrated his passion and commitment. He is a strategic thinker, with strong analytical abilities. We are certain that he will step into the role of Head of School with confidence and competence, creativity and sensitivity, and an exceptional understanding of, and commitment to, the mission of St. Paul’s."
During the semifinalist interviews, Mr. Stern resonated with many when he remarked, “If you want your children to be better people, send them to St. Paul’s; the experience changed me and I knew this is the environment I wanted for my daughter as she entered kindergarten”.
Mr. Stern plans to carve out some time over the school year to embark on the transition process with current Head of School Karan Merry and the community. Mrs. Merry has been an exemplary Head of School, and will provide continued leadership through the rest of school year, while Josh continues in his role of Director of Sixth Grade and Middle School.
Please join the St. Paul's Board of Trustees in congratulating Mr. Stern as the Head of School-elect.
Christine Fairless Named Next Director of Sixth Grade and Middle School
We are pleased to announce Christine Fairless as the next Director of Sixth Grade and Middle School, effective July 1, 2014. Christine has dedicated her career to middle school education, and is an accomplished educator and leader.
Over the past 22 years, her career path has taken her from teaching math and science in Bay Area middle schools, to being the Associate Director for Middle School Math Through Applications Project (MMAP) at the Institute for Research on Learning, to earning her Masters degree in learning, design, and technology from Stanford University. Most recently, Christine has participated in panel discussions for the American Education Research Association, the American Anthropological Association, and the Boys to Men Education Series hosted by the East Bay School for Boys.
Christine joined our faculty in 2001. From 2001 to 2010, she was the eighth grade math and science teacher. She strengthened the School’s math program by developing a geometry course to complement the eighth grade algebra program. She also implemented a social-emotional curriculum to help students transition to high school.
After earning her Masters degree at Stanford University, she returned to St. Paul’s as the Director of Technology. Christine has transformed the use of technology in the curriculum by implementing a school-wide iPad program and integrating technology in the classrooms.
Christine is innovative, and has brought vision to many of the School’s programs. She has co-facilitated the Teacher Research Group, and as co-chair of the Diversity Committee she led the St. Paul’s parents, faculty, and staff in the American Promise community forum that focused on the experiences of African-American boys. As a leader in the School’s civic engagement work, she’s coordinated teachers in implementing Map Your World for sixth grade. Additionally, she’s worked with the seventh grade to promote our social vision inside and outside the School community.
I want to thank everyone involved in the Director of Sixth Grade and Middle School selection. We were fortunate to have an excellent applicant pool, starting with over 30 candidates. Many members of the community interviewed and provided feedback on each of the four finalists. We could not have completed the search in such an efficient and effective manner without the community’s support.
Inclusiveness, Kindness, Empathy in 6th Gr and MS 2012-13
"I treasure St. Paul's because the students receive excellent academic and values training. Each student is treated as a unique individual.”
– Mary W. Adams, grandparent of Isadora ’17
|A Letter from the Board About Mrs. Merry's Retirement|
Dear St. Paul's Community,
As you have now learned, our long-serving Head of School, Karan Merry, has informed the Board of Trustees and the greater school community that she will leave her position at St. Paul’s Episcopal School effective June 30, 2014.
On behalf of the entire Board, we want to express our deepest gratitude to Karan for her unswerving commitment to the mission of St. Paul’s School and the children in her charge. For the past 13 years, Karan has worked tirelessly for the betterment of our School. She embodies the School’s core values, particularly social justice, and has shown a deep concern not only for our children, but also for our families, our outstanding faculty and staff, and the greater community.
Karan’s vision and enthusiastic service to our School and community have been invaluable. The result has been nothing short of amazing. With her leadership, St. Paul’s School has grown and prospered.
|Head of School Karan Merry Announces She Will Leave Position in 2014|
A letter from Karan A. Merry, Head of School
It seems only yesterday that I arrived in Oakland and fell in love with a community called St. Paul's Episcopal School. As the new Head of School in the summer of 2000, my intention at the time was to stay for 10 years — next year, I will be entering my 14th year. The opportunity to be deeply involved in the life of St. Paul's School, to collaborate closely with Trustees, faculty, staff, and families, has been richly rewarding and has made the time pass quickly. I have especially enjoyed watching our children grow and mature. Each student has held a place in my heart.
I write to let you know that I will be leaving my position at St. Paul's on June 30, 2014 at the close of the 2013-2014 academic year. I am eager to try new opportunities, but what calls me most is my family on the East Coast. My first grandson was born during my first year as Head of St. Paul's, and his brother followed five years later; it's time to go back East to spend time with both of my grandsons before they are grown.
My time at St. Paul's has been an extraordinary era of growth for the School. When I began as Head, St. Paul's School offered one class section per grade level in kindergarten through fifth grade. The Middle School needed a complete renovation, the Lower School was in need of seismic work and classroom improvements, and the library for the entire school was housed in a cramped space on the mezzanine at the Lower School. Needless to say, the School had no gymnasium. In my first years here, it became clear that we needed to upgrade our campus. We had the team to do it. The Board of Trustees completed a Campus Master Plan in 2004 and we set to work.