Head of School Welcome

Welcome from Head of School Dr. Sharon Howell

Welcome to Indian Springs School, where some of the finest students from across Birmingham, throughout the country, and around the world come together to learn by living, working, and partnering with accomplished faculty in a community of scholars and individuals. We’re glad you’re here to see what makes this school and our students special.
Founded in 1952 and led for its first 20 years by forward-thinking educator Dr. Louis E. “Doc” Armstrong, Springs has roots in the progressive educational philosophy of John Dewey, who inspired our motto: Learning through Living.
The school’s founding impulse also stems from a connective, expansive vision of American society and democracy. Our mission is to develop in students a love of learning and creativity, a sense of integrity and moral courage, and an ethic of participatory citizenship with respect for individuality and independent thought. Springs aims to connect, value, and include young people whose origins, identities, beliefs, and experiences reflect the rich and instructive diversity of our global society. That means learning at Springs is both an individual pursuit and a collective endeavor, in which we deeply understand our world and one another.

I have been struck by the degree to which Springs students take ownership of their educational paths, and by the amount of responsibility they have for making the school what they want it to be. Our boarding and day program brings together a diverse and vibrant cohort of just over 300 students in the 8th-12th grades, on a 350-acre campus where nature serves as both inspiration and laboratory. Students and faculty work together in a model of shared governance, and students discover their passions by taking part in everything from athletics to our renowned choir to student-run scholastic, service, and special-interest clubs.

Nearly all of our faculty members have advanced degrees, and have chosen to teach and mentor young people. Our beautiful, award-winning classrooms, broad and creative curriculum, extensive independent study options, and participation in an innovative online course network all enhance the great teaching that opens doors to new ideas and new possibilities. Our students are prepared for college, and each year go to many of the finest colleges and universities. But Springs more importantly prepares students to live not only in their neighborhood, but in the world.

One of our best-known alumni, the author and educator John Green ’95, has said that Springs is where “all at once, I became a learner … because I found myself in a community of learners." Indian Springs exists far beyond our striking campus; it is a passionate extended community of alumni, parents, and friends that spans the globe and generations. So many people have had their lives changed for the better by Springs. I hope you too can begin to imagine how you might be transformed by, and contribute to, our extraordinary community of learners.

Sharon Howell
Head of School