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Oct 05, 2015

St. Stephen's, Austin Names New Head of School For 2016-2017


St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is pleased to announce that Chris Gunnin has been selected the next head of school. Gunnin will officially begin as the school’s twelfth head on July 1, 2016. He will take the reins from current head Bob Kirkpatrick, who will enter retirement at the end of June 2016 after leading the St. Stephen’s school community for nine years.


Gunnin comes to St. Stephen’s from Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, where he has been head of the Upper School since 2009. Prior to serving at Trinity Valley, he was head of the Upper School at St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas, where he also taught English, coached track and field and cross country, and served as a junior and senior student advisor. Gunnin holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in teaching from Trinity University in San Antonio.


“I was initially drawn to this opportunity because of the school’s strong mission, Episcopal identity, impressive boarding program and global student body,” Gunnin explained. “St. Stephen’s is clearly a community that is devoted to the noble and sacred business of helping young people begin to live lives of significance.”


On January 9, 2015, Head of School Robert E. Kirkpatrick announced that academic year 2015–16 would be his last at St. Stephen’s. In response, the school’s board of trustees created a search committee that worked closely with the independent school recruitment firm of Carney, Sandoe & Associates to direct the search process. Following a comprehensive nationwide search that included a diverse pool of candidates, the board announced in September that Chris Gunnin had been selected the new head.


“During the interview process, each person with whom I interacted had a deep pride in the community and a shared vision for the rigorous academic and moral development of St. Stephen’s students,” Gunnin said. “My wife, Nancy, and I are delighted to join such a thriving residential and academic community, and we will be proud to raise our three children as Spartans.


“The school’s founders, Bishop John Hines and the Rev. William Brewster, established St. Stephen’s with the vision that its graduates would possess sharp minds, great and humble hearts, and strong spirits,” he continued. “That vision is as relevant and necessary today as ever, and I feel a deep responsibility to ensure that we carry that legacy forward.”


The St. Stephen’s Episcopal School community looks forward with great enthusiasm to welcoming Chris Gunnin as our next head of school.