St. Thomas Episcopal Parish school names Lillian Issa as next head of school

The School Board of Trustees and the Vestry, St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School is excited to announce that Lillian Issa will serve as the next permanent Head of School. Following an extensive search that attracted top candidates from all over the United States, the school narrowed its focus to seven semi-finalists and then two finalists – then with the final selection being Mrs. Issa.

“St. Thomas is beyond fortunate that Lillian will be our next Head of School,” said Alex Dueñas, School Board Chair. “With her experience as a leader in a faithbased school, her commitment to innovation, her tremendous energy, her enthusiasm for creating a dynamic learning environment and her superb communication skills, Lillian stood out in a field of truly exceptional candidates.”

“I believe a strong sense of self and a faith-filled heart are indispensable for leadership in a religious setting like St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School,” said Mrs. Issa. “My association with Marymount School for 28 years has cultivated in me a deeply rooted allegiance to spirituality and tradition. Every event I planned, every meeting I conducted, every conversation I had with parents, students, and staff underscored my commitment to a strong, values-based community. Schools like St. Thomas Episcopal make a difference in the education of young people; they are the only kind of school to which I would choose to be affiliated.”

Mrs. Issa is currently the Deputy Head of School and the Director of Admissions for Marymount School of New York, a highly regarded Catholic girls’ school on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. Her first joined Marymount NY in 1986 as a teacher of the fifth grade and shortly became Head of the Lower School. Prior to coming to New York, Lillian worked at Marymount International School (Pk-8) in Paris, France and at the International School of Paris (N-8). In these excellent schools, Lillian has taught grades 2- 5 and served in numerous other roles including Curriculum Team Coordinator, Summer School Director as well as Associate Head of School in Marymount Paris. She is fluent in French. Her B.S was granted summa cum laude from State University College, Buffalo, NY; and her M.S. in Curriculum and Teaching from Fordham University, NYC. She has also completed the National Association of Independent Schools Aspiring Heads Program. Mrs. Issa and her husband, Michel, have two adult sons, who themselves are beginning their professional careers.

Until Mrs. Issa’s arrival on July 1st, St. Thomas will continue to be led by Tom Southard, Interim Head of School.

Located in Coral Gables, St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School (STEPS) was founded in 1963. Now in its 61st year, St. Thomas has grown to include grades junior preschool through 5th grade and has 425 students and utilizes the STEAM method of teaching, integrating the key areas of learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). For information on St. Thomas, call 305- 665-4851 or visit

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