Strategic Planning Process

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School is pleased to announce the completion of a five-year strategic plan, Spark 2023.

In September of 2017, St. Stephen’s invited the entire community to participate in a comprehensive strategic planning process. Students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, the Board of Trustees and friends of the school created a bold and ambitious plan for St. Stephen’s called Spark 2023.

This publication celebrates the meaningful ways our community has significantly improved for the better in the last five years at fulfilling our mission. At the beginning of the process we dreamed boldly. Today, that vision of a stronger St. Stephen’s has been realized.
Spark: A flash of light. A point of illumination. That moment in time when one element transforms into another. Spark 2023 is a community-wide kindling of inspiration, imagination and intention that guided our strategic plan over the last five years. Spark 2023 represents our greatest hopes for our school community, from ideas to implementation, as we forged the brightest possible future for St. Stephen's together.

Spark 2023 Strategy Architecture


List of 3 news stories.

Event Photos

About St. Stephen's Strategic Planning Process

During the 2017–18 school year, the St. Stephen’s Episcopal School community started working together to develop a strategic plan for the school. The strategic planning process provided opportunities for the school community to recommit to our core values, to recognize our strengths with an eye toward leveraging those strengths in the future, and to co-create a vision for the school’s future.

The strategic planning process involved surveying our community, as well as examining our strengths and areas for growth internally. We also reviewed and researched the external environment to analyze social, technological, economic, environmental and political factors that may impact our school community. In short, this process was a chance to dream together about ways that St. Stephen’s can continue to grow as an institution and reach new levels of excellence in the years ahead.

Community Engagement

In order to ensure a successful Strategic Planning Process, students, faculty and staff, alumni, parents, board members and friends of the school all had meaningful opportunities to engage in and contribute to the process. Opportunities for community engagement included the following: 

List of 5 items.

  • Spark 2023 Launch Event

    On April 25, 2018, the St. Stephen's school community gathered to celebrate the launch of the school's new five-year strategic plan, Spark 2023!

    Thanks to the tremendous input and support from a wide range of participants, including parents, alumni, students, faculty and staff, and trustees, our yearlong strategic planning process was a success.
    In the coming months, we will share widely the many important initiatives that will shape our academic offerings, school programs and campus life for the next five years. Be on the lookout for these exciting updates.
  • Initiative Drafting Workshops, February 27, 2018

    Following the board of trustees’ approval of the strategic planning framework of vision, goals and strategies, the school community gathered once again to propose projects, programs and activities they personally could commit to in order to advance the new Strategic Plan. Proposed projects were vetted by St. Stephen’s administrative leadership team for possible inclusion in the new Strategic Plan. Approved initiatives have an identified leader, were given a timeframe for completion, and are part of the larger launch portfolio to which St. Stephen’s will turn its attention as it transitions to plan implementation.
  • Visioning Day, January 27, 2018

    Visioning Day was the third opportunity for members of the school community to participate in St. Stephen’s strategic planning process. Close to 200 school constituents participated in Visioning Day on Saturday, January 27, 2018, to help determine what “success” will look like for St. Stephen’s in 2023. Participants worked together to identify key strategic priorities for the school against the backdrop of our core values and mission. By the end of the day-long workshop, the Strategic Planning Committee had received a broad range of input from the community to synthesize into a strategic framework of vision, goals and strategies to send to the board of trustees for approval. 
  • Community Survey, October 4-13, 2017

    A Community Survey was the second opportunity for members of the school community to share their thoughts about and experiences with St. Stephen’s. The online survey was open October 4–13, 2017. Participation was voluntary, and respondents were anonymous. The research work group, a subset of the Strategic Planning Committee, analyzed the results compiled by an outside researcher. When considered alongside relevant external environmental research, the internal survey data will help define and frame St. Stephen’s strategic priorities throughout the next three to five years.
  • Core Values Sessions, September 2017

    A Core Values Assessment was the first opportunity the school community had to engage in St. Stephen’s strategic planning process. Using a list of St. Stephen’s core values as a springboard for discussion, constituent groups considered the underlying ideals behind these values; how well these values align with our daily activities, behaviors and decisions; and determined whether the values as they are will be the ones that will ensure St. Stephen’s future sustainability, or if some are missing. Core Values Assessment sessions were held on campus September 18-20, 2017.

Strategic Planning Committee

Chris Gunnin, Ellen Osborne Ray '86, Jolynn Free, Yvonne Adams, John Rocklin, Janet Allen, Jessica D'Arcy, Laurel Eskridge, the Rev. Todd FitzGerald, Greg Hicks '68, Shannon Ratliff '86, Temple Webber III, Anne Marie Becka, Michelle Andrews, Vicki Woodruff, Melissa Rubin, Paul Byars '07, Rebecca Gibbs, Rebecca O'Hara

Center for Strategic Planning

We retained Christina Drouin, founder and executive director of the Center for Strategic Planning, to partner with us throughout the process. Drouin is a national leader in the field of independent school strategic planning and author of four chapters of a book published by the National Association of Independent Schools entitled "The Strategic Process: 10 Steps for Planning Your Independent School’s Future."
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213