Remembering Dr. Barb

On April 1, we gathered the entire student body and faculty/staff for a gathering to celebrate Dr. Barb Fulton.

Dr. Barb was a passionate educator, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She passed away in 2005 after 30 years of service to the St. Louis educational community. Her birthday was March 31; she would have turned 79 this year.

Dr. Barb was a long-time head of Chesterfield Day School (CDS) and founded the Chesterfield Day School-St. Albans (CDS-SA) campus, which eventually was renamed The Fulton School at St. Albans (TFSSA).

Upon the merging of CDS and TFSSA in 2022, the Board of Trustees chose to name our new entity "The Fulton School'' after her. We continue to embody her philosophy of education, blending the Montessori tenets of hands-on, purposeful simplicity with her strong emphasis on joy, character, and transparency.

Born in Kennett, Missouri, she graduated from Kennett High School, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1966, a Master's Degree in Counseling in 1968, and a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology in 1971.

She always said a school should be more like a forest than an orchard. An orchard's trees are all the same and produce the same fruit, standing straight and planted all in a row; but a forest is alive with different types of trees, colors, and fruit -- they have different needs and grow in different ways.  Thanks to Dr. Barb, we are a small, diverse community of people who love to learn, who ask questions, and who are figuring out how to live their lives intentionally.

Our gathering this year to celebrate Dr. Barb Day (led by her daughter who is our current Head of School -- Kara Fulton Douglass) included heart cookies (she LOVED hearts), a slideshow, and some memories shared by those in our community who knew her well. We also designed two bookmarks that reflect sayings she was known for. Thank you, Dr. Barb!

***CLICK HERE to see our Dr. Barb photo album.



"Dr. Barb was an outstanding and remarkable woman. She was firm yet caring and supportive. She had a strong presence and a heart that embraced her staff and students. Dr. Barb was a leader in every sense of the word. She was a woman whose first commitment was to serve the mission and community by using her leadership skills in an educational setting and always having high expectations. She was a woman who did her job with integrity and grace. For Dr. Barb, it was all about the child. She cared, respected and listened to every child. 
   -Shadia Hassan, current parent and Children's House teacher
"When my parents were looking for a school for me and my younger sister Grace when we were little, they came to CDS for a tour. They met Dr. Barb and were so incredibly impressed. My dad got in the car and said to my mom: "Our girls are going to this school!" They were originally looking for me to start in the fall and I started the next week!  Dr. Barb was a phenomenal leader and educator. She had great conviction and made every student feel special, loved, and capable. She also, I believe, instilled the entire school community with a true love of learning and inspired us all with a desire to work toward being the best we can be, and to live with integrity. When I think about something Dr. Barb taught us, I think of the rule of three: is is true, is it kind, is it necessary? We all were given bookmarks with that saying and I still have mine and I still use it!"

   -Sydney Seidel, a 6th grade graduate of CDS and a current TFS Children’s House teacher


I met Dr. Barb when I was a parent, not an employee, in 1993 when my oldest son was entering kindergarten. She was a strong leader and left me with lots of excellent parenting advice. She really liked to help parents become better parents (I took her parenting class three times). She always wore a heart -- whether it was a necklace, pin or earrings, every day! And she loved a good hug -- to receive one or give one. And one thing I always remember her saying: If a person carries a book with them, they can never be bored.”

   -Diane Loyd, alumni parent and current TFS Assistant Head of School


“Dr. Barb truly loved what she did. She believed in the school’s mission and values to her core. Dr. Barb always had a smile at the ready for the students and their parents alike. Her positive energy was contagious!”

   -Lynn Ritchey, alumni parent and current substitute teacher at TFS