Joan Drody Lutton, MS '77, Head of The Cushman School


Dr. Joan Lutton has been the Head of The Cushman School for the last 30 years. She is also an adjunct professor at Barry University and Florida International University. Over the last three decades at Cushman, Lutton has seamlessly supported the vision of the school's founder, Dr. Laura Cushman, to create an educational environment that truly empowers holistic learning with character development, an appreciation for the arts and rigorous academics at its core. Dr. Lutton has fostered a culture at Cushman where students develop an inherent desire to learn, and she has incorporated cutting-edge programs to instill global awareness and keep Cushman at the forefront of academic excellence relevant to today's marketplace. For example, Cushman's exchange program with China-based Hunan University is the only of its kind in the nation, and earned Barry University's attention as an experience they'd like to offer their students. Lutton consistently raises the bar for herself, her faculty and her students. Her accomplishments are evidence of that fact:

Dr. Lutton received her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instructional Leadership from the University of Florida in 1982; a Masters in Educational Leadership from Barry University in 1977, and a BA in Math and English from Rutgers University in 1966. She also completed postgraduate work at Harvard in 1988 and was a Klingenstein Fellow at Columbia University in 2004.

Dr. Lutton has served on several committees and commissions for the National Association of Independent Schools, most recently a nine-year stint on the Commission of Accreditation. She has served as President, Vice President and Secretary of the Florida Council of Independent Schools and was a board member for over 20 years. She is presently serving as the Florida representative on the Southern Association of Independent Schools Research Commission.

Dr. Lutton was a founding member of the Community Learning Partnership of Miami Shores, which includes the following schools: Barry University, Miami Country Day, Doctors Charter School, Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School, Miami Edison High School and The Cushman School.

Dr. Lutton has been President, Vice President and Treasurer of the National Elementary School Heads Association and represented that group at international conferences held in Portugal and England. She has also served on many Boards of Trustees including nine years on the Board of Ransom Everglades, and service on St. Phillips, Trinity Episcopal and St. Stephens school boards. Lutton is currently the Vice President of the Doctors Charter School Board.

Along with today's recognition as one of Barry University's 2011 Distinguished Alumni, Dr. Lutton has received numerous awards, some of which include: Klingenstein Fellow in 2004, Miami Shores Key to the City in 1999; NASSP Study Mission to Denmark in 1994; National Exemplar School in 1993; Who's Who in Education in 1986 to present, and Who's Who and Why of Successful Florida Women in 1984 to the present.

Over the years, Dr. Lutton has written many position papers, presented at numerous conferences and spoken to faculty at many schools including Hunan University in Changsha, China, (she studied for months to deliver a six-minute introduction in Mandarin), and continues her volunteer work with Woman of Tomorrow. Her professional memberships include: NAIS, FCIS.SAIS, ISSF, ESHA, PDK and DKG.

Joan Drody Lutton and her husband, Stephen Carr Lutton, have three children, Andrew, Donald and Stephanie, and eight grandchildren. Dr. Lutton will retire at the end of this school year to spend more time with her family, travel, write a book, and continue to consult and mentor her associates.