Pearls are the traditional gift for a 30th anniversary. It’s a fitting symbol for Kirk Day School, which is celebrating the milestone this year. Located in Town and Country, the independent, coeducational preparatory school serves students in preschool to grade six with its mission to provide a strong educational foundation grounded in Christian values. Each graduating class leaves a shining mark on the school, building a chain of excellence that represents Kirk Day’s continued success.
Since its founding in 1992, Kirk Day has not wavered in its original mission. The school has continued to strive for rigorous academics while also providing students with a strong biblical foundation. “When we established Kirk Day, we felt it was important to create a place where children could be known, nurtured and valued,” founding head of school Sue Pitzer explains. “We equip children so they can engage with the world while remaining anchored in God’s word.” The students and graduates of the school demonstrate the effectiveness of this educational philosophy. Many of Kirk Day’s graduating classes produce a valedictorian or salutatorian at their high school, 98% of alumni are admitted into private high schools, and 75% graduate from high school with academic honors.
After Pitzer retired, Taylor Clement took over as head of school in 2015. “It was clear that he understood the foundations of Kirk Day School and was uniquely equipped to embrace our ethos,” she says. “Taylor has done a great job transitioning the school for future success.” Now in his eighth year, Clement has enjoyed watching Kirk Day grow and learning about the success of graduates. “We’ve seen alumni entering the workforce, and now, many are returning to Kirk Day as parents,” he notes. “It’s most rewarding to witness multiple generations of students and faculty fulfilling the mission of the school by engaging with the world in an effective and thoughtful way. I’m excited to continue that legacy.”
To keep its level of academic excellence, Kirk Day also seeks to provide innovative learning experiences. Clement explains that over the past three decades that has meant incorporating more technology and improving the learning environment, ensuring classrooms are flexible spaces that can accommodate hands-on activities and collaboration. “We have a fixed academic foundation, but our methodology has evolved,” he says. “We’re not replacing traditional skills with technology. Instead, we want to ensure our students can use these tools as resources in their educational development.”
To commemorate its anniversary and honor its Scottish heritage, Kirk Day is throwing a ‘Tartan and Thistle’ themed gala April 22 at Hilton St. Louis Frontenac. The event supports the school’s annual fund. In a nod to Kirk Day’s 30-year history, the goal is to raise $300,000. While proud that the school has reached this milestone, Clement is looking toward the future. He hopes the school continues to challenge students to grow academically and spiritually. “Kirk Day has been blessed with a faculty, administration and community that is dedicated to furthering its mission,” he says. “It’s because of them that Kirk Day will be able to serve future generations of St. Louisans.”
Founded in 1992 and located in Town and Country, Kirk Day School is an independent, coeducational, Christian preparatory school for students in preschool to grade six. Its 30th anniversary ‘Tartan and Thistle’ gala will be held April 22. Pictured on the cover with students: event chair Danielle Nalley, head of school Mr. Taylor Clement, head of school emeritus Sue Pitzer. For more information, call 314.434.4349 or visit kirkdayschool.org.
Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo by Kelly Johnston, Relic Photography