Address from the St. Paul's Board of Trustees & Head of School

September 2019: Head of School Josh Stern announces his departure from St. Paul's at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Over the past 21 years he has held the positions of Head of School, Assistant Head of School, Director of the Sixth Grade and Middle School and Sixth Grade Teacher. 

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Dear St. Paul’s Community,

We would like to inform you that Josh Stern has decided to conclude his tenure as Head of School at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Along with all members of the Board of Trustees, we celebrate his devotion to our school community over the past 21 years – including his years as Head of School, Assistant Head of School, Director of the Sixth Grade and Middle School and Sixth Grade Teacher. 
 
Under Josh’s leadership, we’ve seen significant progress including; growth in the school enrollment numbers from 280 students to a current high of 380 students, expansion of the Middle School, improvements to the physical facilities, revisions of St. Paul’s Mission and Values, focused efforts to ensure more competitive salaries for our valued faculty and staff and the establishment of the foundation for the school’s new strategic direction. The Board is very proud of our position as a Bay Area leader in connecting service learning, diversity and inclusion to the educational experience. We are thankful to Josh for helping us get to this point and for his leadership in positioning St. Paul’s for the next phase of growth.
 
On a personal note, as new Board Chairs, we were very excited at the prospect of working with Josh and the entire Board of Trustees to further the growth of St. Paul’s. While this excitement is now tinged with sadness that Josh will be leaving us at the end of the current school year, we remain excited and optimistic about the future for St. Paul’s.
 
Our immediate next steps include working through the details of the school’s succession plan, while also continuing to partner with Josh on the strategic goals for the 2019-2020 school year. St. Paul’s is on sound footing and we are well positioned to attract high-caliber Head of School candidates. 
 
We will be as transparent as we can throughout the succession process, using the “Trustees’ Corner” in the Wednesday Headlines as our communication vehicle. In this week’s Headlines, we will share the high-level succession procedure, including roles and responsibilities. Should you have further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to one of us at executive@spes.org.
 
Sincerely,
 
Francine Anthony and Beryl Potter
St.  Paul’s Episcopal School Board of Trustees, Co-Chairs

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Dear St. Paul’s Community,

At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, I will be ready for a new chapter in my life after 21 years of service to St. Paul’s. Concluding my time as Head of School was not an easy decision to make, nor was it a decision I made swiftly, or lightly. St. Paul’s Episcopal School has been more than my place of work; it has been a grounding force in my life. I have been at St. Paul’s since I was 25 years old and I have loved my time here. I consider the headship at St. Paul’s an important responsibility and I’m ready to pass the baton to new leadership. I’m proud of my efforts, building on the legacy of the Heads that preceded me. And now it’s time for new leadership to keep up the tradition of taking the school to new heights. Informing the community now will allow the Board of Trustees the time that they need to enact a succession plan. 

When I visited the Bay Area 22 years ago in March of 1998, I interviewed at St. Paul’s. I still remember the first time that I walked from the 19th Street BART station to Montecito Avenue. I was instantly drawn toward the vibrancy of the school and the feel of the local neighborhood. There was an intangible quality that made me want to learn more, and as the day progressed, I knew that I wanted to work at this school and live close by. Ever since then, St. Paul’s and the East Bay have been close to my heart. I cherish being a school leader at St. Paul’s and I am inspired by the richness of our dynamic community. I know my experience here has made me a better and fuller person.

I am deeply grateful for how much you all care for this unique school. Every day, the students inspire me with their care for each other and their understanding of the world around them. They know themselves; they are the leaders of tomorrow. I cannot thank enough our dedicated Board of Trustees for being stewards of our school and for all their support of me. I am deeply grateful for our committed and tireless administration, faculty, and staff, and for our families, who partner with us to educate and raise our students. Each of you is instrumental to the living, breathing vision of the school. There is no other school that merges such a strong sense of place and people to create a truly distinctive educational experience, one that is not easily replicable and leaves a lasting impression on every member of the community. 

As you consider sharing my decision with your children, please know that I will be personally informing the students next week with classroom visits. I will continue to hold office hours (Tuesdays, 5:00-6:00 p.m. and Thursdays 9:00-10:00 a.m.) in an effort to answer questions that arise.

I look forward to this school year, as we celebrate our 45th Anniversary. We have much to be proud of and we have exciting work ahead to achieve continued growth and enhanced sustainability. As I complete my final year, I look to partner with the Board of Trustees to ensure a smooth transition in the School’s leadership. 

Sincerely,
 
Josh
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St. Paul's Episcopal School
116 Montecito Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
510.285.9600