In 1952, The Reverend Scott Field Bailey and Bishop John Hines decided to start one Episcopal School for Austin. Three Episcopal congregations had existing preschools and were thinking of expanding. All Saints’ had expanded its school to include first grade and both Good Shepherd and St. David’s were thinking of expanding into the elementary grades as well. The Reverend Bailey and Bishop Hines believed one school should be created, not many, and established it as an Episcopal School not attached formally to one of the parishes: an Episcopal school for all of Austin.
St. Andrew’s is named for St. Andrew, the apostle who found the small boy with the loaves and fishes that Jesus later used to feed the multitudes. The Rev. Bailey suggested that the name would be appropriate because Andrew wanted to bring young children to Christ so that they might receive a blessing. Much like St. Andrew, the leaders of the three Austin Episcopal churches, the Rev. Thomas Yerxa of Good Shepherd, the Rev. Scott Field Bailey of All Saints’, and the Rev. Charles Sumners of St. David’s, also wanted to bring children to Christ, but this time, by way of an education that developed the children both mentally and spiritually.
They envisioned a school built for the entire Austin community, and the hallmark of St. Andrew’s was and always will be its strong sense of community. This vision of a school with a strong sense of family and togetherness brought the school to life all those years ago.
In the fall of 1952, and with a $4,000 loan, St. Andrew’s opened its doors in a large two-story house on Pearl Street in central Austin. It began with two first-grade classes and a combined second-and-third-grade class, with the idea that the school would grow year by year. A state charter was obtained on June 23, 1952, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School was officially established.
Mignon Henry, a former teacher at All Saints’, was the first Director/Head of School. Bishop Hines also appointed a Board of Trustees and named the Rev. Scott Field Bailey, then rector of All Saints’, as the first Chairman of the Board.
Following Mrs. Henry's service, Bob Vaden served the school as Headmaster until 1980, when Lucy Collins Nazro was hired to be the third Head of School. Mrs. Nazro served St. Andrew's for 32 years, building the new middle school program and ultimately St. Andrew's Upper School, a massive endeavor for the school and the Austin community. She retired in 2012, whereupon St. Andrew's hired a year-long interim Head, Michael Eanes. In 2013 Sean C. Murphy was formally installed as St. Andrew's fifth Head of School.
Now, St. Andrew’s exists on two campuses spanning 181 acres with over 900 students in grades K-12. It has been a marvelous and wondrous growth from the days on Pearl Street. Back then, our early St. Andrew’s community could not have possibly imagined all that would happen to the school they created with $4,000 and a dream.