Sumner School News

Head-Elect Announced
Posted 02/27/2020 09:56AM

Head Elect 2020-2021
Steven Whitaker

On Friday, February 21, 2020, Sumner Academy's Board of Trustees announced they unanimously voted to confirm Steven Whitaker as our next Head of School, effective May 22, 2020.

Board of Trustees president Dan Shockley praised our current administration for their success. Sumner Academy is thankful to Mrs. Dillehay, Mrs. Hutchison, and Mrs. Martin for serving as heads when asked during a crucial transition time. Their leadership has increased our enrollment, boosted staff morale, and paved the way for us to move to a traditional single Head of School structure. The current administration team will continue to lead our school through the 2019-2020 school year.

Mr. Whitaker sent the following letter to current families, faculty, and staff:

February 25, 2020

Sumner Academy Family,

I want to begin by thanking all of those who have shared your thoughts with me over the course of the past few days. Your words of encouragement and positivity mean the world to me. I am absolutely humbled and honored that the Board of Trustees has entrusted the future of Sumner Academy to me.

Even though I've seen many of you around campus, I want to take the opportunity to introduce myself to you. I've lived in Hendersonville for going on five years now after moving here for the 2015-2016 school year from Selmer, Tennessee. Growing up in the middle of nowhere, I learned the value of two key things in my life: hard work and maintaining the character that my parents instilled in me. I currently live in Hendersonville with my wonderful wife, and former Sumner Academy alumni, Ann Marie and our awesome daughter Parker. On top of this, our family will be growing within the next year, as we are expecting a baby boy!

From the small town of Selmer, I moved on to Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee where I completed my Bachelor's Degree in English and Education. I have also attained my Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Carson-Newman University. Upon the completion of my Master's Degree and a research project, I received my Administrative License for the state of Tennessee. Since arriving at Sumner Academy, I have had the opportunity to have my hand in many facets of the school. I have been part of the security team as well as the curriculum committee while holding the position of Middle School Coordinator. Currently, I am the co-head of the Strategic Planning Committee, which recently proposed the concept of our I.D.E.A Hub in the lower-school building. Ideas such as our Design-Thinking based Hub are things that can take Sumner Academy into the future as a school that is constantly on the brink of innovation. I cannot describe my excitement in helping our school along this journey.

Since beginning my tenure here in 2015, Sumner Academy has been an extremely important part of my life. I want the school to continue to touch the lives of all of the students and families that are part of it. Our staff and former administrators have done such a wonderful job of building and maintaining our positive culture, and we must not lose sight of the strong value system that our school is built on. What we have at Sumner Academy is a truly unique environment where students are not only challenged academically but also given the opportunity to grow as great individuals, and we cannot lose our focus on these things. With that in mind, we all must continue to work together in order to maintain a culture that is focused on continually improving all facets of our school into the future.

I cannot say enough great things about our current administrative team, Mrs. Dillehay, Mrs. Hutchison, and Mrs. Martin. I want to thank them for all they have done for Sumner Academy, as well as helping me move into this position over the next few months. Sumner Academy has been in wonderful hands for the past few years, and I will strive to help the school continue to move forward. Again, I am honored to have this opportunity, and I will do everything in my power to assure the success of Sumner Academy.


Steven Whitaker

Educating independent thinkers since 1973.


We believe in teaching a love of learning.


We believe in teaching with patience.


We believe in valuing the differences each student brings.


We believe in collaborating with parents.


We believe in creating and promoting a safe environment.


We believe in fostering social and personal responsibility.

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