Since July 2015, Gary Stern has been both honored and delighted to serve as High Point Academy's Head of School. He has the highest appreciation and regard for the trust placed in him by the High Point community.
In the school’s ongoing quest to reach new heights of excellence and innovation, Mr. Stern is excited to be working with the Board of Trustees and the entire school community to implement High Point’s five-year Strategic Plan (2016-2021). The Strategic Plan crystallizes High Point's four core pillars: Excellence, Innovation, Responsibility, and Community. The Strategic Plan creates a clear path forward; one that will position High Point for ongoing success in the future.
At the end of the day, Mr. Stern believes that it is and will always be about the students. Every decision, strategic goal, and priority are forged with the following question in mind: "Will this decision or priority further advance High Point's mission of developing the Whole Child and awakening the joy of learning in students?"
Mr. Stern is a native of the Los Angeles area who was inspired to pursue his passion for education by his mother, a former middle school home economics teacher and professor of child development at Los Angeles Valley College. Mr. Stern’s own career in education has, to date, spanned more than two decades. Prior to his current post at High Point Academy, he served as the Associate Head of School/Principal at the Laurence School, a K-6 independent school in the San Fernando Valley which (as does High Point) fosters and nurtures the academic, social, emotional, ethical, and physical development of the Whole Child. At Laurence, he served in an administrative capacity for 17 years. Mr. Stern earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree (J.D.) from Vanderbilt University. He earned a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential after completing his coursework and training at the University of Southern California and a master's degree in educational administration from Pepperdine University.
Mr. Stern's ongoing mission is to continue to implement a 21st century curriculum at High Point—one with abundant critical and creative thinking opportunities to awaken the joy of learning in students, while providing a strong traditional academic program balanced with innovation and an eye toward the future. A dedicated teacher at heart, Mr. Stern treasures the magic that takes place in classrooms every day. Among his achievements, he has utilized his legal background to teach an in-depth program on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. He co-founded Laurence's Global Garden Committee to affirm the identity and heritage of all families in the school community, establish international sister-school connections with students at each grade level, and foster cultural outreach to attract and ensure a diverse school community. Mr. Stern also co-founded a Math Consortium which today comprises more than ten independent schools and provides teachers with opportunities to share resources, instructional strategies, and professional development experiences in math.
Mr. Stern is a history buff and sports aficionado, and a devoted Dodgers and Lakers fan. He relishes traveling and spending quality time with his family, and has been married to his college sweetheart, Michelle, for 27 years. The loves of their lives are their twin children, Sierra and Alexander, who have benefited immeasurably from their own independent school educational experiences.