St. Stephen’s Appoints New Head of Upper School

Head of School Chris Gunnin announces the appointment of Aaron Snyder as Head of Upper School starting in the 2024-25 academic year. Snyder replaces longtime Head of Upper School Kim Garey who transitions to her new role of Associate Head of School for Academics and Student Programs in August.

As Head of Upper School, Snyder will be responsible for leading the upper division. He will also collaborate with faculty and the administrative team to elevate St. Stephen’s and its academic programs through team building, supporting faculty innovation and engaging with students, faculty and parents. Snyder brings more than 20 years of experience to this role.

"I feel deeply honored and excited to be named as the next Head of Upper School,” said Snyder. “This position offers an exciting opportunity to support, develop, and expand upon the effectiveness of leadership at St. Stephen's. By engaging in collaborative problem-solving, I hope to empower community members to do their best work."

Snyder has served in a number of areas since arriving on The Hill in 2022. He has taught Upper School English, serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Leadership Team, was an assistant Varsity Football coach and is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of The AI and Humanities Conference. 

Snyder has worked in a few other schools throughout the country in California and Massachusetts. He is a skilled and dedicated educator, curriculum development expert, facilitator of positive change and proven academics and student programs leader in independent day and boarding schools. Prior to his time at St. Stephen’s, he taught English and filmmaking for one year at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, California.

Prior to his role at Bishop Garcia Diego High School, Snyder served 16 years at Thacher School–a private coeducational college preparatory boarding school outside Los Angeles, California. Snyder juggled multiple leadership roles while also teaching English, Latin and economics, coaching Varsity Football, Basketball and Baseball, and assisting in the fine arts. Snyder’s lengthy list of accomplishments and strong innovation abilities include helping to lead a capstone program for all seniors, initiating restorative justice practices within the school’s disciplinary process and coordinating social, emotional and academic support for sophomore boarding students. 

His first classroom role was with Cushing Academy, a coed day and boarding high school outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where he taught English for two years and coached Junior Varsity Basketball and Tennis.

Snyder earned his B.A. in English from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, and holds a Master of Arts in English from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont and a Master of Education in Independent School Leadership from Columbia University in New York.

His wife, Theana, also works at St. Stephen’s as an Upper School mathematics instructor. Two of their three children, Gavin ’28 and Zoey ’31, are proud Spartans as well.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213