Letter from Board of Trustees

Letter from the Board of Trustees

Dear High Point Community,

It is with both sadness and deep gratitude for Gary’s leadership and contributions to High Point that the Board of Trustees announces Gary Stern’s departure as Head of School of High Point Academy effective June 30, 2021. Motivated by family circumstances, this was a difficult decision for Gary to make, and while we are greatly saddened by this turn of events, we support Gary in his desire to prioritize his family’s needs in these difficult times. 

Gary has served in his role as Head of School since 2015 with dedication and full commitment to our community. From the moment Gary accepted the position as Head (many months before he was scheduled to formally begin), he charged ahead prepared to serve, partner, and to inspire the school community. Gary’s unwavering support and commitment has been evident and impactful from his first day on campus. Since that day, he has played a critical role in the development and success of High Point Academy. While we will miss Gary’s genuine sincerity and empathetic leadership, we want to thank him for his dedication during the past six years and wish him the best in his journey.

Gary’s posts in his own words and voice have served to lead us over the past six years with integrity and a deeper sense of reflection. Gary also led the school through the strategic planning process, spearheaded the celebration of HPA’s 50th Anniversary, hired outstanding education professionals, introduced and supported curriculum enhancement/curriculum mapping, launched a campus master plan and helped shepherd a number of facility upgrades, guided enrollment stability, and served as an incredible champion and representative of our school in the broader education community within the San Gabriel Valley and the California Independent School community as well.  

Anchoring Gary’s achievements throughout his tenure has been the leadership team at High Point. They have created a culture of partnership and collaboration that has enabled High Point to achieve new levels of success. The leadership team and Board will continue to guide High Point through this transition as we work to identify a new Head of School. HPA is and continues to be focused on the students and the teachers that interact with them every day. We have never had a stronger teaching faculty, and we will continue to place our graduates at some of the best local schools and beyond.  We will continue the focus on innovative facilities upgrades and curriculum. Our commitment to the students will not change. 

Morris & Berger, a nationally respected executive search firm has been contracted to advise us through this process. Morris & Berger has not only helped numerous area schools successfully find heads, but also assisted High Point Academy to find Gary six years ago. An interim head of school will be appointed to lead High Point Academy during the 2021 – 2022 school year to enable the school to conduct a methodical and measured search for a new Head. Additional communication regarding the search committee members, a transition plan, and your input will be forthcoming in the near future. A search committee is being formed to identify a new Head of School, co-led by Brent Schoenbaum, an alumni parent and past Board Chair during the previous Head of School search, and Mike Noll, also an alumni parent and former Board Chair.  Together as Co-Chairs, Brent and Mike bring an understanding of High Point’s unique culture, community and values to the search process.  . The Search Committee will be represented by the community with faculty/administration, current parents, trustees, and former Independent School leaders from the Pasadena area.  

Thank you for your continued support of High Point Academy and its mission to awaken the joy of learning. We will continue to update the HPA community on the progress of the search as the process unfolds.

Candace McMullin
Board Chair
Board of Trustees
High Point Academy