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Mission and History

Young students with colorful parachute


To cultivate tomorrow's leaders and innovators in an educational environment
that encourages students to discover their unique identities, explore their passions
and develop a joyful, inquisitive approach to learning and life.


To commit to our students so they will act joyously upon their passions and courageously seize adventures and opportunities we cannot foresee.

Episcopal Identity

Saint Paul’s-Clearwater’s Independent School, maintains an affiliation with the Episcopal Church. The School encourages the development of traditional Judeo-Christian values and emphasizes understanding and respect for the origins and beliefs of a diverse student body. These values find expression in a spirit of cooperation and consideration, as well as in self-discipline and high standards of ethical and moral behavior.

All student have the opportunity to participate in weekly chapel service. Some chapels are the the entire school community; others are divided into age-appropriate groups. Clergy from other denominations and speakers from community groups occasionally visit chapel meetings. Friendship, ethics, morals and spiritual growth are emphasized during chapel.


Saint Paul’s-Clearwater’s Independent School, was founded in 1968 in Clearwater, Florida as one of the premier private independent schools in the Pinellas County area by a group of families seeking a private school in the Episcopal tradition, combining the values of outstanding academics with respect, honesty, integrity, and inclusiveness. 

The plan was for this school to be supported by the community, and use the facilities of the Church of the Ascension, a local Episcopal church,  to get started, however act under a separate corporate identity from the parish church. 

Community leaders, led by Mr. and Mrs. William Burchenal, Jr., and Rev. Dr. Claude E. Guthrie and his wife began discussing the creation of an independent school and invited the then rector of the Church of the Ascension,  Gray Blandy, to further the idea. 

Through 1976, the school used the Church of the Ascension’s education building as a campus. Construction of our campus began in 1970 on the property that exists today.  Founding Member, Fred Fisher discovered the location along the shores of Allen's Creek. He said, "while boating with two of our children behind our home on Allen's Creek, it occurred to me that I was looking at a natural location for the school - just a boat ride away for my children!"

The close relationship between Saint Paul’s, and successive generations of the founding families, continue to play a role in the life of the school. 

Since those early years, many hands, hearts, and minds have kept the inspiration and vision alive. As a historian, I revere the past as a prologue to the future. -William Burchenal, Jr., Founding Member and
First Chairman of the Board of Trustees

 high Quality Requires hard Work.  Greek words found in our original seal created by our First headmaster Claude Guthrie

May the future generations of the Saint Paul’s family be imbued with the inspiration and vision of past generations so that this wonderful school can go on.  -William Burchenal, JR., founding member AND
First Chairman of the Board of Trustees