Head of School Search
End of an Era: Dr. Kirk Wheeler Announces Departure from STS, Board Begins Search for Successor
As announced on October 11, 2023, Head of School Kirk Wheeler will leave St. Thomas School at the end of the 2024-2025 academic year, marking his 20th year of leadership at STS. In a letter to the community, John Sherwood '83, president of the St. Thomas School Board of Trustees, and Rebecca Andrew, vice president/president-elect, reflected on Dr. Wheeler's impact, noting, “We are deeply grateful for the leadership Dr. Wheeler has offered STS for nearly two decades, and for the profound impact he has had on countless STS students, families, faculty, and staff.”
While this announcement is now being made public, Dr. Wheeler intentionally informed the board of his plans well in advance, providing ample time for the board to make preliminary preparations. The search for St. Thomas School’s fifth head of school is currently underway. The board’s search committee is being chaired by Rebecca Andrew, and the school has engaged DRG, a well-established head of school search consulting firm.
St. Thomas School community members are encouraged to visit this page often for updates throughout the search process and transition to a new head of school.
"The strength of the St. Thomas School community is matched by its distinctive blend of cutting-edge educational approaches and its strong sense of tradition.
This is a compelling position for educators seeking a place to lead and to grow within an extraordinary school culture."
- Rebecca Andrew (Chair), board vice president, president-elect, and school parent
- John Sherwood '83, board president
- Sarah Reed, board secretary and former school parent
- Jane Fellows, kindergarten teacher
- Erin Kaneko, trustee and school parent
- Gina Kwan, trustee and school parent
- Karen Mathewson, director of the Middle School and current parent
- Emma Rehrl, third grade teacher
- Haiyong Wang, school parent
Contact the Search Committee
The search committee welcomes your thoughts, questions, and concerns throughout this process.
Head of School Search FAQ
When is Dr. Wheeler leaving?
Dr. Kirk Wheeler will depart STS at the end of the 2024-2025 school year.
Why has Dr. Wheeler chosen to leave now?
After nearly two decades of dedicated service to St. Thomas School, Dr. Wheeler has decided to move on to the next chapter of his life. His decision was taken with deep contemplation and appreciation for the school community.
How will the board ensure a smooth transition?
Dr. Wheeler informed the board of trustees of his plans well in advance, giving the board ample amount of time to plan a meticulous and thoughtful search process, partnering with the distinguished search firm, DRG. The objective is to name Dr. Wheeler’s successor by the end of the 2023-2024 school year, providing plenty of time for a smooth transition.
How can I contribute or share my thoughts on the succession?
The board values stakeholder’s feedback. There will be opportunities to share insights with DRG through in-person meetings and an online survey. Additionally, a Town Hall on October 19 will provide families with a platform for discussions with board President John Sherwood '83 and Vice President/President-elect Rebecca Andrew.
What has been Dr. Wheeler’s impact on STS during his tenure?
Dr. Wheeler has led numerous initiatives that have greatly benefited STS. These include spearheading our LEED Gold-certified school building, APAC, CLI, and CRL, expanding the middle school to 8th grade, navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more. His leadership has brought growth, innovation, and sustainability to the school.
Who is involved in the search for the new head of school?
A search committee, chaired by Rebecca Andrew, board vice president/president-elect, has been formed. This committee, in collaboration with DRG, will guide the search process to find a suitable successor. Stakeholders, including parents, guardians, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to give their input in the coming weeks as the community, together, defines the qualities desired in the new head of school.
Will the mission and values of STS change with the new leadership?
The core principles and values of STS remain steadfast. While leadership transitions bring about change, the school's mission to foster academic excellence, character development, leadership, and global citizenship continues to guide its path.
How will the community be kept informed during the search process?
Regular updates from the search committee will be communicated to the community. You're also encouraged to watch this page for updated information throughout the process.
How can we honor Dr. Wheeler's service to the school?
As we approach Dr. Wheeler's departure, there will be multiple opportunities to celebrate and honor his significant contributions. Details about such events and initiatives will be shared in due course.
Is the school's direction or strategy expected to change with new leadership?
While new leadership often brings fresh perspectives, the enduring mission and vision of STS provide a consistent foundation. The board, faculty, and staff are committed to upholding the traditions of excellence that STS is known for, while embracing positive evolution.