Seven Hills was founded in 1962 (as St. Stephen’s Day School), by a collection of East Bay parents who wanted to create a different kind of educational experience for their children – one that combined academic excellence with character-building, mastery of content with the confidence and agility to navigate an increasingly complex world. The school’s first home was in Orinda until its move to the Seven Hills Ranch in Walnut Creek, where it now resides. Inspired by the natural beauty of its new campus, school leaders changed the name of the school to The Seven Hills School.
As local families were increasingly drawn to Seven Hills’ educational mission, Bill Miller became the Head of School, a position he held for 23 years. Bill brought a wealth of experience in school leadership from independent schools in San Francisco and was attracted to the high quality of teachers at Seven Hills. As he often said, “Our teachers will take us as far as we can go,” and his ability to hire, lead, inspire, encourage and challenge Seven Hills teachers has been a hallmark of the school’s success.
In July 2015, Kathleen McNamara became Seven Hills' Head of School. Kathleen was attracted to the clarity of the Seven Hills mission, the strength of our faculty, the depth of our community, the proof in our graduates, and the great possibilities ahead of us. In 2019, Kathleen and the Board of Trustees launched an updated strategic plan, Whole Child, Whole Community, with the three pillars of the school's mission statement as its theme.
From its humble beginnings as an idea shared by a few dream-building parents, Seven Hills now serves over 400 students and their 271 families. Its impact over nearly 60 years has positively affected alumni and their families, and the communities to which they all contribute.
The Seven Hills School: a 58-year tradition of excellence in education.