Established in 1926 by Arthur Gulliver in the residential section of Coconut Grove, Gulliver Academy initially enrolled students from the northeast who were wintering in South Florida. Many parents saw Gulliver as a twin school to prestigious eastern academies, in both curriculum and focus. Thus, it seemed a natural choice for an academic and character-building education, as well as a laboratory for exploring the region’s exciting natural environment.
The most formative episode in Gulliver’s history was Marian Krutulis’s purchase of the school in late 1953. A Miami pioneer in exploring the maze of issues, opportunities and challenges faced by youngsters, both in terms of their learning styles and educational comprehension, Mrs. Krutulis envisioned Gulliver as a grand school home where both students and teachers would feel part of a caring, inspiring family of learners. As a result, Mrs. Krutulis came to personify independent education in Florida and to represent the educational reality that care, strength and candor can lead to success and high self-esteem for children.
In 1967, Mrs. Krutulis moved the school to South Dade, an area that would soon undergo a major population explosion. Today, the school has four campuses and is centered in Coral Gables and Pinecrest; each campus serves a specific age group or targets a particular student interest or need.
Gulliver Academy serves students in Grades PreK3 - 8. Gulliver South Miami Campus, which began operations in 1994, provided a gymnastic program for Grades Sr.K - 4. After a remarkable 17 years of excellence, the South Miami Campus closed its doors in June of 2011. Gulliver Preparatory School opened in 1975 for advanced students in Grades 9 - 12; it serves those same students today. Gulliver’s Montgomery Drive and Miller Drive campuses offer smaller classes and alternative teaching and learning styles to students in Grades 5 - 8 and 9 - 12, respectively.
With an enrollment of more than 2,200, Gulliver Schools offers the full spectrum of academic and extracurricular programs. Students are enrolled in a sequence of classes designed to challenge them and enhance their skills. From the Primary School to the Preparatory School’s International Baccalaureate Program, Gulliver’s classes are student-focused, academically rigorous, and tailored to meet individual needs. Middle and high school students whose skill-building processes require close attention spend the morning at the Montgomery Drive or Miller Drive campuses, and are transported to the Academy or the Preparatory main campuses for lunch, afternoon courses and extracurricular activities.
Extracurricular activities are limited only by the bounds of student creativity at all levels. Community service organizations and interest groups thrive on all campuses. Gulliver’s athletic program has achieved success at all levels of competition, including the State of Florida, and has been named by The Miami Herald as the “Best Small Athletic Program” in the area. Gulliver was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education – Preparatory School in 1991 and Academy in 1993. Gulliver continues to focus on Marian Krutulis’ vision: maximize the students’ academic potential, maintain their bodies’ health and train them to become people of integrity in everything they say and do.
In 2000, after 47 years of growth and advancement as one of the most successful for-profit private schools in Florida, Gulliver Schools became a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution. As a 501(c)(3), Gulliver is able to address the community’s concerns regarding physical growth – facility and program enhancement, more so than student population growth. The school’s not-for profit status allows potential donors all the tax benefits provided by the IRS, to the full extent allowed by law, and allows Gulliver’s stakeholders to contribute to multiple projects and enhancements simultaneously. The school’s Board of Trustees has the responsibility for the governance of Gulliver Schools. In order to ensure the perpetuity of the vision, mission, philosophy and academic standards of the school, the Board has a contract with School Management Systems Inc., a Florida corporation owned and operated by John Krutulis, which is responsible for the full and complete administration and day-to-day operations of the school.
In the spring of 2008, Mrs. Krutulis transitioned into an “emeritus” status, a position she held until her passing in January 2013. Her son, John Krutulis, became Gulliver’s head of schools. The school was organized into six functional areas – academics; human resources; finance; facilities and construction; operations and risk management; and advancement – with a senior director overseeing each area. Collectively, this group forms the school’s senior management team.
In January of 2013, John Krutulis transitioned into the role of both director and head of schools until the Board of Trustees selected a new head. The Board formed a Head of Schools Search Committee and retained an educational consulting firm to assist in the international search for a new head of schools.
In November 2013, the Board of Trustees appointed Frank Steel as head of schools, beginning on July 1, 2014. The head of schools is responsible for management of the school, as well as working with the Board of Trustees to ensure the sustainability of our mission and the Krutulis legacy. At that same time, John Krutulis transitioned into the position of director of schools, focusing on strategic planning and capital fundraising – enhancing our facilities and growing our endowments.