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About Our Process

The Four Phases of Our Strategic Design Process

University High School is currently in the final phase of an exciting and dynamic two-year-long strategic design process, with the aim of creating a strong but flexible framework in which we will learn, assess, and plan for our school's future.



In this first phase of the process, the Strategic Design Committee began a thorough survey of the school’s history and current climate. By investigating exactly where we’ve been, where we are today, and where our community hopes to go in the future, the committee sought to gain a comprehensive view of our school.



During phase two, the SDC honed in on a far-reaching but succinct set of community values to guide their work in establishing a vision for University’s future. By basing our strategic design on the values we all share, University can ensure that we stay a future course that remains true to who we are as an institution and community.



With all the pieces that were collected from learning together and discussing our values, the committee set forth a structure by which the school can make strategic goals and decisions both now, for the purposes of this process, and also in the future, as new opportunities and challenges arise.



This will be an exciting and evolutionary time for our community, and we look forward to embracing our future, while also staying true to the caring, focused, community that believes in the promise of every student.

Our Theory of Transformational Education

We embrace education as a transformational rather than a transactional endeavor.

Our vision for excellence infuses every dimension of our strategic design, and the key ingredients throughout are connecting, inventing, and designing. The image of a bridge beautifully and elegantly captures the spirit of these three fundamental elements.

Just as a bridge powerfully connects two distinct locations, we want our students to be adept connectors – of people, of cultures, of ideas – and we want UHS itself to foster meaningful connections with the larger community and the world.

Building a bridge involves innovative, integrative thinking that remains nimble and responsive to community needs and values. We want to equip our students to do that kind of thinking brilliantly, in service of the greater good.

To create a bridge that will endure requires not just a spark of invention, but sustained engagement to fulfill a long-term vision. We want individual students to engage in building a future with a sense of deep purpose at their core, being thoughtful about what really matters to them and the impact they hope to create in the world.

Our Inspiration: Research and References

The names of individuals, organizations, books, articles, and other resources listed below reflect a partial list of sources we consulted for inspiration, ideas, and evidence-based research along the journey of our strategic design process. We would like to credit their help and influence, while also acknowledging that the non-linear and broad approach of our process can't be captured here in its entirety.




Meet our Strategic Design Committee

Jay Banfield,
Chair of Strategic Design Committee, Trustee,
P’16 & P’20

Cathy Schember,
Past Trustee,
P’06, P’08, P’12, & P’15

Julia Russell Eells,
Head of School

Linda Burch,
Trustee, P’12 & P’17

Ronald Cami,
P’15, P’16, & P'19

Penny Coulter,
P’09, P’11, & P’16

Matt Farron ’98,

Grant Winfrey ’84,
Past Trustee

Nasif Iskander,
Assistant Head of School,
Dean of Faculty

Alex Lockett,
Dean of Students

Michael Holt,
English Department,
Curriculum Committee

Christina Jacobs,
Science Department,
Faculty Affairs Committee

Shoba Farrell,
Assistant Dean for Professional Growth,
Math Department,
Student Life Committee

Shreya Gandhi-Gupta ’16

Paul Gross ‘15

UHS Transformer

Our Partners

San Francisco University High School is proud to collaborate with the following organizations: