An Independent Day School for Grades 6-12

Kelly Sortino, Head of School

Kelly Sortino’s tenure as the seventh head of school started in July 2019 following an intensive, open, international search. She emerged as the obvious choice to architect Crystal’s next strategic plan, to drive Crystal's long-term goal of One Crystal on two campuses, and to expand and innovate the curriculum, faculty development initiatives, and facilities master plan.
Kelly embodies Crystal’s values, delights in working with students and teachers, and is empathetic and collaborative.  She has successfully led the Upper School for the past seven years and headed the College Counseling office from 2009-2012. She has demonstrated strategic thinking and thought leadership in overhauling the College Counseling office, leading the AP task force, spearheading our Challenge Success partnership, and driving Crystal BEST to reduce stress and balance homework while maintaining the high academic quality for which Crystal is renowned.

Prior to joining Crystal, Kelly was an English teacher, an admissions officer at Princeton, a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, and an intern at Google. She holds an MBA and M.Ed. from Stanford and an A.B. in Art and Archaeology from Princeton, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She was a semi-professional dancer and a varsity golfer at Princeton. Kelly is a true scholar-athlete-artist who understands the importance of athletics and the arts to the student experience.

Kelly's Favorite Things about Crystal

List of 8 items.

  • Inspiring faculty

    My favorite part of the week is when I get to drop by classrooms to see our amazing faculty in action. For example, this year I have been inspired by analyzing a passage analysis with Ms. Chang’s English students, conducting an experiment alongside 7th-grade scientists and Mr. Gummerson, and making connections to primary documents in Mr. Holubar’s history classes.

  • Dogs on campus

    I enjoy bringing my dog, Brownie, to school most days and also enjoy seeing students smiling when they encounter a faculty pup.

  • Laughter at lunch tables and in classrooms

    Walk through the Middle and Upper School cafeterias at lunchtime and you’ll notice the outbursts of laughter rippling from table to table.  The same is true when walking by classrooms.  I love that Crystal is a place where we take academics seriously without taking ourselves too seriously.  

  • The generosity of parents and alumni

    I am constantly blown away by the way our parents and alumni give back like through the Crystal Fund, Crystal Fest, and the Alumni Red & Blue Challenges; the latter even inspired faculty and students to paint their faces, dye their hair, and perform in a flash mob.  
  • Genuine student/teacher interactions

    Our faculty really know and care deeply for students.  I know it means a lot to our students that they have faculty members in their corner rooting for them during every step of their Crystal journeys.

  • Lip Sync

    As a former dancer, nothing beats watching every grade level come together to showcase their creativity, collaboration, and school spirit in this annual tradition.  (I can also say that the faculty deserves to win first place every year!)

  • Fabulous facilities

    I love taking in the beautiful canyon views while sitting in Expansion Hall in the Middle School or simply standing in the Upper School Mansion Ballroom and breathing in the glory of every precious detail of decor, I am constantly pinching myself that I get to work in such inspiring facilities.

  • 8th Grade Hall Talks and Senior Projects

    I really enjoy seeing these culminating “capstone” opportunities for our graduating 8th and 12th graders to display their passions for a project, topic, personal value or essential question.

List of 1 items.

  • Senior Leadership Team

    Kelly Sortino
    Head of School

    Peter Antupit

    Chief Information Officer

    Betsy Berman
    Chief Advancement and Strategy Officer

    Jess Dang
    Head of Middle School

    Diane Isola
    Chief Financial Officer

    Lou Kim
    Chief of Staff

    Alex Lockett
    Head of Upper School

    Debbie E. Lumpkin
    Chief People, Culture & Inclusion Officer

    Bruce Pollock
    Chief Operating Officer
Nondiscriminatory Policy: Crystal Springs Uplands School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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