St. Sebastian's Board of Trustees unanimously voted on July 14, 2023, to name Brendan Sullivan the next Head of School upon Bill Burke’s retirement in June 2024. As the School’s current Dean of Students, Mr. Sullivan assumes this role with extensive experience as a faithful and talented leader with an exceptional passion for St. Sebastian’s and its mission.
LETTER FROM THE SEARCH COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS
Dear St. Sebastian’s Community:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Head of School Search Committee, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Brendan W. Sullivan as our 10th Head of School, effective July 1, 2024. As we look ahead to Bill Burke’s 34th and final year as St. Sebastian’s Headmaster, we feel very confident in our selection of a leader who will carry on his remarkable legacy while guiding us into the future.
Brendan’s appointment is the culmination of a six-month national search that drew a pool of impressive candidates. Following the announcement of Bill’s retirement in January, the Board of Trustees assembled a Search Committee of eleven current and past Trustees. The Committee worked tirelessly to identify prospects, screen candidates, and then make a recommendation to the Board. We also gained personal insights and perspective from numerous members of our St. Sebastian’s family, as we engaged trustees, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and students in surveys and meetings.
Through this rigorous process, our community’s united commitment to St. Sebastian’s mission-centered values was reinforced - the order of the day has been, and always will be, to love God, work hard, and take good care of one another. We are thrilled to have selected a leader who has demonstrated this motto every day. After graduating from Princeton University and receiving a master's degree from Wesleyan University, Brendan joined the St. Sebastian’s faculty in 1994, serving the School as a beloved and well-respected teacher, coach, and Athletic Director. In 2006, he transitioned into the Dean of Students role, following in the footsteps of the legendary Morris Kittler. As he takes the reigns from Bill, Brendan will advance our strategic priorities, moving the school forward while continuing to honor our rich traditions. The School has enjoyed tremendous growth under Bill’s leadership over his more than three decades on campus and we have immense faith that Brendan will continue this growth as he takes over as Head of School.
Brendan and his wife, Rebecca, have three children – Eliza, a rising junior at the College of the Holy Cross, Joseph ’25, and Patrick ’29, who will join his brother as an Arrow this fall. We are looking forward to supporting Brendan and his wonderful family as he transitions to this new role.
This search could not have succeeded without the dedication and wisdom of the Search Committee and the support of the Board of Trustees. Over the next year, we will have many opportunities to celebrate Bill Burke’s invaluable contributions to St. Sebastian’s before Brendan takes the helm as our new Head of School. In the meantime, we hope you will join us in congratulating Brendan.
Thank you all for your support and devotion to St. Sebastian’s School.
James. L. Elcock ’77 P’08 & Barbara E. Connolly P’10 ’12 ’17
Search Committee Co-Chairs
A MESSAGE FROM BRENDAN SULLIVAN
I am honored and humbled to become the next Head of St. Sebastian’s School, which I proudly have called my second home for the past 29 years.
It did not take long after I was hired in September of 1994 to realize St. Sebastian's impact on the future of young men, and ultimately future husbands, fathers, leaders, and community members. I’ve worked alongside talented, dedicated faculty that always put students first. I have been mentored by the best Independent School leaders in New England and surrounded by students and families who love and support our mission.
There is no place like St. Sebastian's.
Thank you to the Search Committee, as well as the full Board of Trustees, for their time, energy, and commitment to the Head of School search process. I also recognize and appreciate the St. Sebastian’s community for their support and prayers.
I am honored to continue Bill Burke’s legacy of staying true to our mission while always striving to be the best we can be through academics, athletics, the arts, and faith.
Rebecca, Eliza, Joseph, Patrick, and I look forward to engaging with this loving community on an even deeper level.