Board of Trustees Announce Interim Head of School

Apr 26, 2023 8:42:13 AM

Rachel Stevens Deems appointed as Interim Head of School for the 2023-2024 School Year

On April 25th, 2023, the Board of Trustees announced that Rachel Stevens Deems had been appointed as the Interim Head of School for the 2023-2024 school year effective July 1, 2023. The search committee, chaired by Keith Liesmann, enthusiastically nominated Rachel and the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint her. The response from the PA community to Rachel’s recent campus visit was overwhelmingly positive. Feedback included that she had a steady, calm, and collaborative leadership style that would make her a great fit for the Interim Head role.


Rachel’s independent school experience spans 25 years with tenures at three independent schools across the Southeast. She has been Head of School at Spartanburg Day School in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where, since 2012, the school has engaged in a rebranding and clarity of mission that led to positive outcomes, notably, record enrollment, expansion of academic programs, 30 state championships, successfully navigating COVID19 and record levels of giving including the increase of the endowment from $5 million to $38 million. Prior to SDS, she served as Head of School at The Westfield School in Perry, Georgia, and as Director of Development at Stratford Academy in Macon, Georgia. Early in her career, Rachel was on the senior administrative team at two Southern colleges; she served as Chief Administrative Officer, Assistant Provost, and Dean of Students at Mercer University and Director of Alumnae Affairs and Vice President at Judson College.

A native of Alabama, Rachel and her husband Ken have an adult daughter, Morgan Guice Deems, who lives in Georgia. Rachel is an active volunteer in the communities where she has lived and is active in independent school associations. In Spartanburg, Rachel served as a board member and President of the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, was a member of the Rotary Club of Spartanburg, volunteered with United Way, helped raise funds for Globalbike trips to Tanzania, and served as a Spartanburg Regional Hospital System Fellow. She served as a board member of the Georgia Independent Schools Association (GISA). Since 2013, she has served two terms as a board member of the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and as a volunteer SAIS Accreditation Chair. Rachel was recognized by SAIS with the Distinguished Service Award in 2022.

In accepting the appointment as Interim Head of School, Rachel shared that “I am honored and thrilled to be a part of the leadership transition at Pulaski Academy and look forward to working alongside the board of trustees, the leadership team, faculty, students, parents and alumni in a year that will be pivotal for PA’s future success. PA has a longstanding tradition of excellence and is a vibrant and passionate school community. I can’t wait to begin the year with you in July.”

We look forward to welcoming Rachel and Ken to Little Rock this summer. In the months between now and then, Rachel will be meeting remotely with Arch McIntosh and the leadership team to become acquainted with PA.

For more information, visit our PA Head of School Search Page

About Pulaski Academy: Pulaski Academy is a private, independent school located in Little Rock, Arkansas. The school serves students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and offers a college-preparatory education. Pulaski Academy is known for its strong academic programs, as well as its extracurricular activities such as athletics and the arts.


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