Retirement Announcement

March 11, 2021


Dear Friends:

It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement as Head of School at Mount St. Dominic Academy effective July 1, 2021. After 4 years as a student, 15 years as a teacher, and 23 years as Head of School, the time has come for me to move on to the next phase of my life. I leave with the knowledge that the Mount is in a very positive position with excellent leadership, a seasoned faculty and staff, and a wonderful community.   

My earliest memories as a student at the Mount date back to art class in the Tower Room, locker decorating, and mystery day trips to Crystal Cave, Pennsylvania. While our daily activities have evolved, some themes remain; the nervous anticipation of the first day of freshman year; the excitement each time one of our athletic teams secures another championship; or the confidence and pride that emanates from each graduate as they collectively toss their caps in the air. Words cannot fairly express the joy I have felt watching a timid eighth grader grow from someone who is scared of her new experience to someone who graduates as a talented, confident, empowered young woman.

This has been an incredibly challenging year for us at the Mount. I commend our faculty, staff, and administrators for staying the course when our task seemed daunting. The commitment, patience, and hard work that I’ve witnessed from my colleagues each year, but especially this year, reinforce my confidence that our future holds great hope. I am always appreciative of our past and present parents who have made such a sacrifice by choosing to enroll your daughters; it has been a joy and a privilege to be part of your lives, to know you and to share in our mutual love for the Mount. And to our alumnae, Trustees, donors, and friends, many of whom donate time, energy, and funds on a regular basis, I am grateful for your leadership, commitment, and dedication to our mission.

Finally, our students are our shining stars. This group of young women is strong, resilient, hopeful, and full of positive energy. Despite the obstacles thrown in their path, they have all risen to the challenge and will graduate to become effective leaders. The most difficult part of my decision is knowing I will not be present in the day-to-day experiences of these extraordinary individuals. I have a deep love and respect for the Mount, our mission, our 129-year legacy, and the opportunities we present to those who walk these halls. I will cherish the 42 years of memories, lifelong friendships, and experiences I leave with after this year, and the Mount will always hold a very special place in my heart.  

With great respect and affection,

Sister Fran Sullivan, OP
Head of School


March 11, 2021


Dear Mount Community:

I am writing to share with you that our Head of School, Sister Fran Sullivan, has informed the Board that she intends to retire at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic school year. We share our deepest gratitude and appreciation for her 23 years of school leadership and wish her happiness and joy as she explores this new stage of her life.

Under Sister Fran’s leadership, the Mount has undergone many changes, including the building of a new athletic center and the evolution of the Doris M. Byrne Performing Art Center. The Library Media Center has expanded to be a space for digital work, the science labs are fully renovated, and the Fine Arts and Innovation Centers have been designated. The athletic programs expanded sports in each season, and our academic programs have grown to include unique selections such as Robotics and a Capstone Program. Technologic differentiators like The L.E.O. Program have further set us apart from other schools in our area. This year in particular, Sister Fran was committed to creating a hybrid learning environment so our students could benefit as much as possible in a pandemic.

As we move forward, the Board of Trustees is dedicated to finding a new Head of School who will provide the leadership necessary to move us into the future while preserving our culture and values. We are forming a search committee and will be seeking an Interim Head of School while we undertake the full search process.  We will also partner with a leading academic search firm to guide us in this endeavor.

We will keep you updated as information becomes available. We look forward to including the perspectives of all constituent groups as we move toward identifying a permanent replacement. I know I speak for the Board when I share my appreciation for Sister Fran’s deep commitment to the Mount, as well as the faculty and staff who continue to educate and support our students.


Madeline Cox-Arleo
MSDA Board of Trustees Chair

See more information from our search and about our process.