Advent Episcopal School Birmingham, Alabama 1950
Advent Episcopal School
2019 6th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 252-2535

Headmaster Welcome



Welcome to Advent Episcopal School. Whether you know us well or are just discovering the Advent school for the first time, you can't help but notice that learning is celebrated at the Advent. Since 1950, this Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade independent school has joyfully lived out its mission to provide a superior, advanced, and enriched education to a diverse student population in a caring Christian environment.   Here, an exemplary group of educators serve a younger generation of learners, skillfully weaving academia, love, spirituality, self-discipline, resilience, respect, and inspiration. Always with an eye to their futures, Advent positions its students to succeed and excel as they begin high school and very quickly, college.
What do children remember? The same thing adults do: the extraordinary. We believe an Advent education is exactly that, and it extends well beyond the traditional classroom, encompassing music, art, athletics, travel, theater, and community service. It grows into intangibles such as confidence, courage, creativity, kindness, sportsmanship, and citizenship. It is both gratifying and heartwarming to see our graduates return to annual events and express their matured appreciation for those who loved, taught, and challenged them and then set them on their way, well poised for the road ahead.
For the 2017-18 school year, we look forward to serving those already entrusted to our care and to meeting new friends who want to learn more about the Advent school. If you are searching for an extraordinary school for your child, I would be delighted if you visited our beautiful campus. I would welcome an opportunity to share a cup of coffee with you and discuss the advantages and benefits of an Advent education.
With warm regards,

W. Palmer Kennedy
Office of Head of School
Palmer Kennedy
Year Appointed: 2013
John Wesley said, “Set yourself on fire and people will come for miles to watch you burn.”
(Palmer's favorite quote.)

Palmer Kennedy began serving as Advent’s Head of School in the summer of 2013, succeeding Una Battles, who had been Advent's Head for 43 years.

Prior to Advent, Palmer served for thirty years at two Episcopal Schools in Mobile. While at St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Palmer's roles included teacher, coach, and administrator. During his last ten years at St. Paul's as Upper School Principal, Palmer helped guide it to become the largest Episcopal School in the continental United States.

In 2006, Palmer accepted the position of Head of School at St. Luke’s Episcopal School, also in Mobile. During his leadership, St. Luke’s purchased an additional campus, which allowed St. Luke's to add a high school component to an outstanding PK-8 program. The first class of 37 graduated in 2013. Even though a very young program, St. Luke’s won two state athletic championships during Palmer's tenure.

With Advent's national stellar reputation, the Kennedys' could not refuse the invitation from the Dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent and the Board of Trustees to “move north” and head the school in 2013, even though they were heavily vested in the Mobile community.

Palmer’s tenure at Advent has seen the creation of the Explorium, the Upper-School Library, the additions of a full-time Nurse and Directors of Admissions and Advancement, major security enhancements, and key technology advancements for students.

While in Mobile, Palmer also served as Chairman of the 3000 member Christ United Methodist Church and was campaign chair of a 9 million dollar campaign leading to the creation of a Christian education and recreation center.

Palmer has served as President of the AAIS (Alabama Association of Independent Schools) representing a strong commitment of independent schools in Alabama. In 2014, local AAIS member schools Advent, Altamont, Highlands, and Indian Springs merged with AISA (Alabama Independent School Association), creating the largest independent school association in the state representing 71 member schools. Palmer currently serves on its Board of Trustees.

Palmer has also recently been appointed to the SAIS (Southern Association of Independent Schools) Board of Trustees. SAIS is a service and accreditation organization serving over 375 member schools throughout the southeast and various international institutions.
Karen Kennedy, Palmer’s wife, works at ASFA (Alabama School of Fine Arts). Karen and Palmer have two children, both married. Their son Palmer resides in Birmingham and is completing his Masters in Divinity. Their daughter Laura Kathryn has a degree in graphic design and lives in the upper peninsula of Michigan with her husband.

Palmer’s favorite Scripture is from the Gospel of Luke: “Those to whom much has been given, much is expected.”

Mrs. Lady Anne Buchanan
(205) 458-2541
Year Appointed: 1990

Mrs. Carolyn Neal
(205) 458-2543
Year Appointed: 1999