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MESSAGE FROM ACTING HEAD OF SCHOOL


Dear StM community,

       I am grateful to have been asked to serve as the Acting Head of St. Martin’s Episcopal School! St.
Martin’s has been an important part of my life; our two daughters attended St. Martin’s for high school, I
served as Chaplain and Assistant Head of School for six years (2013-2019), served as interim Head of
School for St. James Episcopal Day School in Baton Rouge, then returned to St. Martin’s on All Saints
Day (November 1) of this year. This school has helped to shape me professionally and spiritually. I tell
you all this because St. Martin’s is a unique school that changes lives, mine included. We work hard
every day to integrate strong academics, formative athletics, and responsible and joyful friendships with a
backdrop of thoughtful and prayerful spiritual life. This balance is not always easy, but it is always
worthwhile.

       St. Martin’s Episcopal School is a place with rich traditions and a strong past. We are dreamers,
innovators, designers, and creators as well. It starts with dedicated, reflective, and knowledgeable teachers
who convey their joy in learning to the students in their care. St. Martin’s students take this learning from
the classroom, from the field, from the chapel and the arts centers out into the wider community and the
world. This is what a St. Martin’s education is all about.

       Excellent teaching is ongoing, athletic teams are working hard and representing us well, our
Gibbs Family Center for Innovation + Design is offering practical and intriguing ways to use technology
to extend the imagination into application, and chapel services are continuing to ground us in our need for
holy living. The science lab in the Lower School dazzles me. Its augmented reality topographic table is a
marvelous tool for learning, yet I am still most impressed by the energy and excitement of teachers like
Pam Brierre who make learning challenging and enjoyable at the same time. Our Middle School
continues to smooth out the transition from child to young adult by combining hands-on experiential
learning with increasing academic expectations and responsibilities, always ready to redirect and guide as
needed. Our teachers in the Upper School move students through and beyond the texts to higher
conceptual learning, with small classes that allow and expect students to participate in their own learning.
This brings joy to my heart, because this is real-life education.

       I have been away from St. Martin’s for some time now, yet my return to campus was familiar and
good. Students and faculty members reach out to me as I walk the length of this campus several times
each day to observe the school in action, and to speak with parents, students, faculty and staff. I can tell
you this: The commitment to where we are going is strong. My task for the remainder of the school year
is to help guide the transition as we ready ourselves for Ms. Whitney Drennan, our next Head of School,
who will arrive in the summer of 2023.

       We hope that you will join us in this great learning endeavor!

Gratefully yours,
Michael+
The Rev. Dr. Michael Kuhn
Acting Head of School

 

MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL ELECT

 

Greetings St. Martin’s community,

       I am so honored and excited to be your next Head of School and can’t wait to be back! St. Martin’s holds a special place in my heart. The strong academics, championship athletics, and lifelong friendships I experienced while a student at St. Martin's shaped me into the person I am today. I look forward to returning to my alma mater to be a part of this welcoming community.  

       My visits to campus this year brought back wonderful memories of my time as a Saint and were a reminder of how transformative a St. Martin’s education can be. My participation in the Key and Civics Clubs, with their focus on service, got me involved by volunteering with younger students. It was this experience that first sparked my interest in education and launched me on the trajectory that brings me back to St. Martin’s now. While the campus has changed some - I was in awe of the state of the art new learning spaces such as the Steam Lab and the Gibbs Family Center for Innovation + Design - the strong feeling of a close-knit community, long a hallmark of St. Martin’s, was still there. The students I met were intelligent and passionate. Proud Saints, engaged and engaging, they were true student ambassadors for the community. The leadership team and teachers are clearly dedicated to their students, to the craft of teaching, and to supporting the future success of our amazing school.

It is clear the community is full of individuals with a deep appreciation for the St. Martin’s core values of faith, scholarship and service, which will always provide a strong foundation for both current and future St. Martin’s families. Together, we will maintain meaningful traditions that define this community and build upon them to ensure that we safeguard its legacy of excellence, retaining St. Martin’s place as one of the most dynamic and compelling independent schools in the New Orleans area.  

       I am excited to begin to get to know you all and I look forward to listening to you, and learning from you, as the newest returning member of the St. Martin’s community. I believe in open communication and close collaboration and I'm eager to partner with you as we lead St. Martin’s into the future. Together, we are Saints and I know we can make St. Martin’s shine and be the very best! 

       With humble appreciation,

Whitney Samuel Drennan