“We are where we are supposed to be, in a place that was built for us to be doing the work of our school — built with the continual optimism and hopes of decades of students, teachers, staff members, alumni and families who believe that we come together here, in this place that was built for us to do this work, to educate ourselves to build purposeful lives in service to the greater good.”
Approved by the Board of Trustees on June 21, 2022, the School’s renewed mission statement, guiding principles and strategic priorities express an unwavering commitment to excellence in education and lifelong service to the greater good by placing the student experience at the center of everything we do. As SPS moves forward, it does so with a commitment to its founding values alongside a willingness to evolve to continue drawing forth what is best in our students and in every member of our community.
St. Paul’s School educates students to build purposeful lives in service to the greater good. We engage young people in a diverse, inclusive, and ethical community, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in character and scholarship and inspired by the beauty and spirit of our Millville home.
We gather to address important questions with open minds, robust dialogue, and mutual respect.
We inspire one another with creativity, self-discipline, and an eagerness to learn.
We embrace the benefits of a diverse, global community, cultivating and deepening our empathy, compassion, curiosity, and intellectual vitality.
We thrive through personal accountability, moral courage, and service to others.
We share responsibility for cultivating a healthy, equitable, caring, and joyful school culture, integrating social and emotional competency into every aspect of the St. Paul’s experience.
We value the learning process as much as the achievement outcome; we fail with patience and humility; and we embrace humor, enthusiasm, and friendship in our lives and work together.
Priorities: Drawing Forth What is Best
In Our Community of Learners: Access, Equity, and a Culture of Supportive Relationships
We must invest in the relationships that define the St. Paul’s School experience: attracting and welcoming an extraordinary community of learners, living our values of kindness and respect, and embracing equity, inclusion, and diversity as essential elements of a strong, resilient, and Beloved Community. We will:
- Sculpt an outstanding community of learners, creating ever-better access and promoting belonging for everyone at St. Paul’s … through an emphasis on financial aid, geographically and internationally diverse recruitment, and initiatives in equity, inclusion, and diversity.
- Bring greater intention to the holistic social/emotional experience of school life … by emphasizing relationships with and modeling by faculty and staff, and through direct instruction and clear expectations setting in support of positive cultural and social practices and patterns.
- Cultivate our pro-social, pro-relational culture on the grounds … through the creation of spaces, traditions, and shared experiences that inspire enduring friendships and build respectful, joyful community, starting with a warm welcome at the main gate.
In Our Faculty and Staff: Resources and Renewal for an Extraordinary Education
St. Paul’s is strongest when we attract faculty and staff who love working with teens, who bring expertise that enriches our program, who value the rich diversity of our community, and who instinctively work to address challenges and strengthen the organization. To ensure that all of our employees can deliver their best, we must provide an attractive workplace, continuous professional development, and an evergreen program that promotes social and intellectual vitality. We will:
- Cultivate a caring, equitable, collegial workplace for all employees … through structures that better support today’s residential teachers, by staffing the School appropriately, by improving on-campus communication, and by promoting a team-oriented employee culture.
- Promote healthy boundaries and work/life balance … through training and by clarifying roles, accountabilities, and decision-making processes.
- Update methods, practices, and pedagogy to meet the academic and intellectual needs of today’s SPS students … with an emphasis on 21st century teaching, advanced studies, and new centers of excellence in writing and ethics.
- Ensure excellence and promote continuous improvement in our academic program and across our entire portfolio of programs … through investments in academic leadership and professional development.
In Our Program: Excellence and Well-Being
In classrooms and common rooms, on the field and on the stage, St. Paul’s invites students to pursue excellence, take positive risks, find belonging, forge identity, establish healthy patterns, learn teamwork, practice leadership, and exercise good decision-making skills. These activities provide inspiration and joy, forming the basis of the lasting friendships that define the St. Paul’s experience. We will:
- Improve our understanding of adolescence in an era of global and constant connectedness … by investing in research, discussion, and collaboration with experts in adolescent development.
- Balance students’ desire to specialize with an invitation to explore broadly … by helping parents and students see value in the SPS journey, not just its destination.
- Ensure that arts, athletics, engagement, and wellness programs have the staffing, space, and structures required for success … through investments in people, facilities, and programs.
- Translate SPS’s model and traditions to ensure relevance to today’s world and today’s students … by maintaining focus on our core values as we update our School in response to contemporary and competitive realities.
In Our Sense of Place: Millville and the World
The rich history and beauty of our Millville home provides common ground for our shared experience and must continue evolving to support our distinctive nature as a fully residential school. Master planning must prioritize student and faculty needs, programmatic support, safety and security, peer and competitor benchmarks, and long-term plans for climate change and environmental sustainability. Lastly, the grounds must connect students with a growing understanding of national and global systems, helping them understand how their ethics and actions affect others and the world. We will:
- Orient institutional decisions around the student experience … in part by considering student experience and programmatic innovation as primary priorities in master planning and capital investments.
- Leverage the unique power of our 24/7 fully residential model and vast grounds to promote formative educational experiences for students … through an examination of how we use time and space at St. Paul’s, and by more actively teaching the skills, perspective, and cultural competency required to build community.
- Increase our students’ understanding of their role as global citizens … by demonstrating how the SPS grounds can serve as a model of the world, emphasizing interconnectedness and interdependency, and bringing insight into global systems.
- Enhance the School’s connection with the city of Concord and the state of New Hampshire … through investments in the Advanced Studies Program, community engagement, and service.
Set climate action and environmental sustainability goals … through enhancements in outdoor education and by incorporating environmental sustainability into the fabric of our learning, campus, and community
In the Greater St. Paul’s Community: Pride and Connection
The shared experience of a St. Paul’s School education links current students with graduates. This connection positions alumni as powerful models of service to the greater good. SPS will prioritize renewed engagement with our alumni and parents to reinvigorate pride in the School and our mission. In strengthening those structures that support the lifelong value and meaning of the SPS experience, we will ensure that alumni and parents understand the dynamics of today’s educational, social, and economic landscape. We will:
- Foster appropriate alumni and parent engagement … by developing programs and structures that involve, support, and connect alumni and parents to the School, and to each other, throughout their lives.
- Connect the global community of SPS alumni and parents to the experiences of students today … through enhanced service, usability, hospitality, and communication.
- Support and communicate the pride, promise, and distinctiveness of SPS … by connecting alumni, student, employee, and parent support of the SPS community through shared and meaningful experiences, and by celebrating alumni contributions to the greater good.
In the Future: Sustainable Excellence for St. Paul’s School
Due in large part to intergenerational and technological trends, St. Paul’s and its peer schools now work within an environment of extraordinary change. In this context, we will emphasize agility and long-term planning across all of our systems and structures, staying true to mission while strengthening our leadership position and promoting the continued thoughtful evolution of St. Paul’s School. We will:
- Invest in people, program, and facilities in the context of sustainable human energy … by considering the nature of work-life balance and well-being in a 24/7 world, and through careful and frequent consideration of the rapidly changing educational landscape.
- Engage in an intentional, long-term program of financial and environmental sustainability … through an integrated planning approach to financial, facilities, and programmatic investment, and with a long-term view of enterprise risk management.
- Use data and feedback to inform the management of the School … through regular self-assessment, benchmarking, and environmental scanning.
- Strengthen organizational capacity … through investments in process and technology improvements, and through greater emphasis on organizational architecture.