Dr. Jan Pullen, who has served as Head of School at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School for the past 19 years, has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2023. Pullen came to Saint Stephen’s in 1988 as the Director of the Lower School and served in a variety of leadership roles before being named to her current post in 2003. She has led Saint Stephen’s through a period of tremendous growth that has helped establish SSES as one of the most-respected independent schools in Florida. Current enrollment stands at nearly 700 students in Pre-K3 through grade 12.
During her tenure, Pullen has overseen a series of important capital projects on campus, including the construction of the third Upper School building (2003), the Middle School (2010), the Moore Athletic Complex (2013), and the Marine Science Center (2016). The school’s endowment has grown from $275,000 to approximately $9-million, and key classroom initiatives involving technology, marine science, global outreach, and emotional intelligence have been implemented and become part of the culture of academic excellence on campus.
Pullen is also one of the most respected independent school leaders in the U.S., having served in key positions at the state and national levels on the boards of the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) and the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES). She is a current faculty member in the University of Pennsylvania Mid-Career Program, as well.
A search committee will be created to facilitate the process of choosing a new head of school with guidance from Educational Directions, a national search firm. The Saint Stephen’s Board of Trustees will ultimately be tasked with choosing Pullen’s successor, with a target date of May 2022 for selection and a July 1, 2023 start date. Pullen will remain in her current position throughout the 2022-23 school year in order to help create a comfortable transition to the new head of school.