Paul Stellato, Head of Princeton Day School Since 2008, to Step Down June 2023

Paul J. Stellato, Head of School of Princeton Day School since 2008, will step down in June 2023 at the conclusion of his 15th year as Head of School, the Board of Trustees has announced.

“Given the opportunity to lead one of our nation’s truly great independent day schools, I have spent these many years among the most talented, generous students, faculty and staff, trustees, parents, and friends of our school, and enjoyed a rich, full experience. As with our graduates, I go into the world filled with optimism and hope,” Stellato said.

During Stellato’s tenure, the School has enjoyed success on multiple fronts. Its enrollment, numbers of applicants and selectivity are at historic highs. Its commitment to need-based financial assistance has more than doubled, and its endowment has tripled, standing today at nearly $93 million.

A Visionary Educator

“Paul’s leadership of Princeton Day School has been inspiring,” said Rebecca Bushnell ’70, Chair of the Board of Trustees and former Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. “Spanning a period that began with the Great Recession of 2008 and running through the COVID-19 pandemic, Princeton Day School has flourished through his careful, thoughtful stewardship. Focused always on the quality of the student experience, Paul has fulfilled his commitment to them and to the School’s mission.”

“With a deep appreciation and love of our school, Paul has proved to be a visionary educator, expanding cross-divisional programs and leadership opportunities,” Bushnell said. “More than a decade ago, he committed significant resources to serve the social and emotional needs of the school’s students by creating and endowing a PreK through 12th Grade health and wellness program. With the founding of the Miss Fine’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, he sought to broaden the academic program and provide robust support for faculty professional development. And through a nationally-recognized sustainability program and the Betty Wold Johnson STEAM Initiative, the School engages its students in innovative and challenging ways at every level.”

"We have appreciated Maureen Stellato's many contributions as well. Paul and Maureen are true partners and beloved members of this community. Not only has she been a gracious host for countless gatherings at Behr House since the family arrived in 2008, but she also served as Special Events Manager in the Advancement Office for seven years and was an integral part of the success of THRIVE! The Campaign for Student Experience," Bushnell stated.

Maureen and Paul Stellato at Behr House, Princeton Day School

An Unprecedented Campaign

In September 2020, the School opened the 30,000 square-foot, LEED-certified Princeton Day School Athletic Center, one of the key components of its $58.6 million Thrive! Campaign, the largest in the School’s history. Adding more than 106,000 square feet of new and enhanced facilities, the Campaign provided significant support and new endowment for the academic program, faculty professional development, and need-based financial aid.

Head of School Search 

“The Board of Trustees will be forever thankful to Paul for his leadership and devotion to PDS, and we will celebrate the innumerable contributions he has made to our School over the remainder of his tenure,” said Ashley Aitken-Davies, Princeton Day School parent, trustee, and Chair of the Search Committee. “We initiate the search for a new Head of School with excitement and optimism for a bright future, and we look forward to engaging with the PDS community as we conduct a thorough and inclusive search process."

The Board of Trustees has engaged the firm of Spencer Stuart to conduct the search for the new Head of School.

For more information, including announcement letters from Paul Stellato and Rebecca Bushnell '70, as well as a video and FAQs, see Head of School Search on the pds.org website.

Photos by Chris Kendig Photography

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