Head of School

Please send any inquiries, nominations, referrals, or expressions of interest electronically and in confidence to Pilar Cabeza de Vaca (pcabezadevaca@educatorscollaborative.com) or Nat Conard with Educators Collaborative (nconard@educatorscollaborative.com).  

The School

Founded in 1896 in Cleveland, Ohio, Laurel School is a nationally recognized, college preparatory, independent day school for girls, Kindergarten through Grade 12, with a coeducational Early Childhood program on two campuses.  With a total enrollment of  578 students, including the 18-month to 4-year old Early Childhood program, the school offers a unique combination of programs for each age group.  In 1927, the school moved to the Lyman Campus on 11 acres in Shaker Heights. This campus is home to the Early Childhood program and grades K – 2 and 6 – 12 as well as two gymnasiums, a theater, and a dance studio. The Butler Campus in Russell Township, a short drive away, was opened in 2002. This extraordinary 150-acre campus houses grades 3 – 5, and features outdoor education, experiential learning, unparalleled athletic fields, a 15-element Project Adventure Course, and a 16,000-square-foot fitness and wellness center.  

Long a leader in girls’ education, in 2007 the school founded the Laurel Center for Research on Girls. LCRG has addressed stress and well-being in girls’ lives, how creativity builds emotional resilience and intellectual skills, and the factors that drive self-esteem in middle school girls. LCRG shares its resources with girls’ educators, parents, and advocates everywhere and has an international following among educators and the media. Among the innovative and impactful programs at Laurel is Butler Campus, where 3rd through 5th graders are immersed in outdoor learning through an innovative curriculum that invites them to grapple with concepts from multiple perspectives. The Environmental Justice Semester (EJS) is a semester-long, academic program open to 10th and 11th Grade girls from any public, private, parochial, or charter school in Northeast Ohio. The Protégé Internship Program and the Capstone Scholars Program are two Upper School programs that are linked to the school’s entrepreneurship curricular thread.

About the Position

The next Head of School at Laurel will have the opportunity to build on a foundation of more than a century of extraordinary education for girls, and on the legacy of 21 years of visionary and innovative leadership provided by Ann Klotz, who became Head in 2004. Working with a dynamic and professional Board of Trustees, composed of current and past parents and alumnae, the next Head of Laurel will be an accomplished educational leader who is passionate about girls’ education and committed to a philosophy of continual growth and improvement.The opportunities for the next leader include:

  • Continue and grow the legacy of exceptional academics, innovation, and research-driven education for girls within a strong and vibrant school community.
  • Clearly define and articulate Laurel’s identity and value proposition in a crowded and competitive independent school market to drive enrollment growth.
  • Further develop and expand the reach and impact of the Butler Campus and experiential learning, boldly pursuing additional distinctive opportunities for Laurel.
  • Recruit resources to ensure that the physical facilities are as outstanding as the teaching and learning that happens within them.
  • Continue to recruit and retain an excellent faculty and staff, in part by combining strong marketing and fundraising with adept oversight of financial management to allocate resources to increasing faculty and staff salaries.
  • Sustain Laurel’s outstanding reputation, while ensuring that it is as well known in the northeast Ohio region as it is nationally.

The ideal candidate will be:

  • A visionary, experienced, and student-centered independent school leader who believes deeply in the power of an all girls’ education and will build upon a strong legacy of best practice in how girls learn, experiential programming, and excellent academic and co-curricular offerings. 
  • An experienced overseer of financial management who has the analytical skills and commitment to balance program and fiscal constraints, and who will build upon what makes Laurel unique while ensuring the school’s enduring sustainability.
  • A strategic and systems thinker who is a strong collaborative leader with demonstrated ability to build effective teams, empower team members to make decisions, and delegate authority as needed.
  • A warm, visible, and accessible presence throughout the school.
  • An inspiring, effective, and transparent communicator who will build upon the collaborative and trusting climate among all constit­uents.
  • A culturally competent and sensitive leader who will enhance an inclusive and diverse community and provide programming and learning opportunities to all.
  • A leader with proven ability to recognize talent and nurture it.
  • A role model and mentor to adults and students.
  • A leader eager to engage fully with current and past parents, alumni, and in the broader Cleveland community and local and national independent school networks.

Click here to view the full position description.

How to Apply

Candidates interested in the position should submit the following materials.

  • EC Candidate Summary Sheet (request from search consultants)
  • Letter of interest addressed to the Search Committee
  • Statement of educational leadership philosophy
  • Resume
  • A list of five professional references with email and phone contact information
  • EC Disclosure Form (request from search consultants)
Please send any inquiries, nominations, referrals, or expressions of interest electronically and in confidence to:Pilar Cabeza de Vaca, Partnerpcabezadevaca@educatorscollaborative.compcdevaca31@gmail.com
Nat Conard, Partnernconard@educatorscollaborative.com
Listing Date: March 15, 2024