Head will retire in 2016: Repsher plans to travel, read, teach Spanish

With the end of the school year rapidly approaching, seniors are starting to ponder their futures.

But this year, they’re not alone.

Since the beginning of spring, headmaster Stephen Repsher has been contemplating his own future. Over those few months, Repsher decided that he will retire in June 2016.

“When thinking about the end of the year and graduation – which is a lot like retiring for the seniors because they are in a way retiring from Country Day – I also started to think about my own retirement,” he said.

Repsher also discussed the decision with his wife, Paula. They thought that it was important for her to spend more time with her parents, who are 80 and 78.

“That freedom would allow her to travel back and forth to Texas,” Repsher said.

Repsher’s retirement was announced on May 12 in a schoolwide email.

Once retired, Repsher said that he wants to spend time overseas with his wife, “as finances permit.”

He also wants to catch up on his reading.

Although he doesn’t have a specific list of books in mind, Repsher said that he will always stay current with his reading on the latest trends in education.

Repsher also plans to reread some classic works in Spanish literature because he taught the subject for 13 years before becoming an administrator.

He said his favorite authors include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Ana Maria Matute, Miguel de Cervantes and Federico Garcia Lorca.

He is also considering returning to the classroom to teach Spanish. However, he probably won’t teach at Country Day.

“I wouldn’t teach here not because I wouldn’t love to, but because past headmasters usually get in the way,” he said.

Repsher moved to Sacramento in 2003 to start his headship at Country Day.

When Repsher was applying for the headmaster position, he immediately felt comfortable with SCDS, he said.

“When I got here, it just felt like a perfect fit,” he said. “Everyone was so welcoming and there is a great sense of community. It’s almost like a family.”

Repsher said one of his fondest memories will be walking through the prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms.

“It’s something that grounds you when you see those little 4-year-olds and how cute they are,” he said.

Among his proudest accomplishments, he said, are the new high-school science center and lower-school building.

However, Repsher believes that the buildings aren’t the most important part of the school.

“I mean, you have to have nice buildings, but the buildings aren’t the school,” he said.

“The people are the school.”

Although moving is part of an administrator’s job, Repsher said that it never gets easier.

“It was very difficult for me to move from all my previous schools, but after 13 years at Country Day, it’s going to be the toughest of all. I’m definitely not looking forward to (the 2016 graduation),” he said.

That graduation will be an especially emotional occasion because Repsher became headmaster when the class of 2016 entered kindergarten.

“I feel a close connection to (them) because of the time we’ve spent together,” Repsher said.

“I don’t even want to think about next graduation because I’ll be graduating with that class.”

Repsher said he has an especially close relationship with junior Manson Tung’s family. On Repsher’s first day as headmaster, he decided to check out the lower school.

When he arrived, Repsher remembers when “little (Tung) marched up to me, looked up and said, ‘I know who you are. You’re the headmaster!’

“I knew that he was going to be a pistol from that day on,” he said with a laugh.

Previously published in the print edition on May 26, 2015.

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