With over 11 years of headship under her belt, Ann V. Klotz mentored a group of educators at the Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads in Atlanta this past July. Discussions from the group inspired her to write “Some Rules of Thumb for School Leaders from My Experience as Head of School.” The piece was published in Independent Ideas—the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) blog. Ms. Klotz’s rules of thumb range from lofty to practical.

Read the entire article in Independent Ideas.

Last week, the Gund Foundation announced that Jennifer Coleman '81 was appointed senior program officer for the arts, effective August 10. She replaces Deena Epstein who held the position for 25 years and retired earlier this summer. 

In addition to being a Laurel alum, Ms. Coleman has been president of her own design firm, Jennifer Coleman Creative LLC, and founded CityProwl.com, a company that creates and distributes digital audio walking tours of Cleveland. She has also been a member of the board of trustees of many organizations including the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Cleveland International Film Festival, LAND studio and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. 

Coleman was identified and selected for the position through a national search.

Read more about Coleman and her new role via Cleveland.com.


Cleveland.com recently announced its 2015 Girls Lacrosse All-Star Team. Laurel rising Junior, Caroline Tatsuoka is a midfielder who also earned second team All-Ohio and first team all-district honors. Additionally, Elaine Decker ’15 received Honorable Mention for the 2015 All-Star Team.

View the entire 2015 All-Star Team roster via Cleveland.com.


Congratulations to the 56 Laurel students who have received 2015 AP Scholar Awards!

The AP Program recognizes high school students who have demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through AP courses and exams with the AP Scholar Awards. Each award-winning student receives a certificate, and the award is acknowledged on any AP score report that is sent to colleges after the award has been conferred.

Twenty-two students were named AP Scholars and received scores of three or higher on three or more AP Exams. Seven were named AP Scholars with Honor and received an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of three or higher on four or more of these exams. Twenty-seven were named AP Scholars with Distinction and received an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of three or higher on five or more of these exams. Finally, Laurel has three National AP Scholars – Berthy Feng ’15, Frances Hartwell ’15 and Sofia Yi ’15 all received an average score of at least four on all AP Exams taken, and scores of four or higher on eight or more of these exams.

Following are all of Laurel’s AP Scholars:

AP Scholars:
Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams.

Rebecca Brichacek ‘16, Tiffany Chi ‘15, Caitlin R. Cronin ‘16, Isabella G. Desantis ‘16, Gillian E. Gregory ‘15, Jensen S. Gregory ‘16, Kathryn Greskovich ‘15, Veronica M. Jones ‘16, Kata H. Lamb ‘16, Erin McCue ‘15, Grace E. Murray ‘16, Gloria G. Neiswander ‘16, Olivia A. Petryszyn ‘16, Hannah K. Preiser ‘15, Charlotte Robertson ‘15, Emily S. Rodriguez ‘16, Erin W. Saada ‘16, Emma M. Schwartz ‘15, Gabrielle M. Tabachnik ‘16, Paris M. Taylor ‘16, Tess K. Willmott ‘16, Monique  A. Yen ‘16

AP Scholars with Honor:
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

Abigail C. Chmiel ‘15, Elaine C. Decker ‘15, Leigh Ann Fairley ‘15, Sapir Flank ‘16, Katelyn E. Vlastaris ‘16, Katherine J. Weimann ‘16, Alexandra R. Zborovsky ‘16

AP Scholars with Distinction:
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

Ruthy G. Amkraut ‘15, Jillian R. Aveni ‘15, Melissa K. Biltz ‘15, Mara E. Cohen ‘15, Sabrina K. Downey ‘15, Emma G. Evans ‘15, Berthy Feng ‘15, Audrey T. Fratus ‘15, Frances R. Hartwell ‘15, Emma Horvath Bachman ‘15, Paige E. Jeckering ‘15, Hannah N. Lauster ‘16, Misbah F. Lokhandwala ‘15, Elizabeth A. Murphy ‘15, Julia C. Murphy ‘15, Jayne O’Dwyer ‘15, Abigail L. Ophir ‘15, Olivia L. Shao ‘16, Serena Shapard ‘16, Naomi L. Shapiro ‘15, Catherine N. Sherman ‘15, Ann M. Smetona ‘15, Madeline P. Taylor ‘15, Evelyn E. Ware ‘15, Caroline Werner ‘16, Samara R. Wyant ‘15, Sofia F. Yi ‘15

National AP Scholars:
Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams.

Berthy Feng ‘15, Frances R. Hartwell ‘15, Sofia F. Yi ‘15

Students, faculty, staff and guests welcomed Marne Levine back to the Laurel community on June 9 as the 2015 Commencement speaker. Marne is a member of Laurel’s class of 1988 and is the first Chief Operating Officer of Instagram. Marne is also a current board member of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organization.

Before taking the role of COO at Instragram, Marne served as a Facebook VP and was a protégé of Larry Summers. She was Chief of Staff under Mr. Summers when he was President of Harvard University and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary under Summers when he was Secretary of Treasury in the Clinton Administration.

Marne captivated a full house at Severance Hall when she spoke about her time at Laurel:

I still remember how excited I felt 27 years ago…and how proud I felt watching my friends walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

I also remember the butterflies…and the creeping concerns I had about life after Laurel.

I worried about whether I was going to the right college...whether I would make good friends, what I was going to major in, and whether I would fit in.

I also worried about what it would be like to study and live in dorms…with boys.

And most of all, I worried about my closet!

In the real world, every day was Civies Day – a whole sea of options, not to mention colors, I hadn’t touched in years. What would I wear?

Except for the initial shock that I actually missed my uniform – big time – I quickly realized that my fears were misplaced when I got to college.

Laurel had prepared me for more than I’d ever imagined. And it went so far beyond the math formulas and historical dates – like how the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. Still remember that.

In the classroom, Laurel taught me to think critically.

My Senior year, I took an Ethics class. We tackled hard questions – euthanasia, the death penalty, among others – questions that don’t have obvious answers.

And as our teacher, Mr. Huston, guided us through these minefields, we learned how to question our assumptions, debate effectively, take risks, listen with intentionality, and challenge each other to think more deeply. 

These lessons have served me well. Because here is the thing, life is full of questions that don’t have obvious answers. You have to open your mind in directions you didn’t even imagine. 

View video of Ms. Levine's Commencement address at Severance Hall.

Read more about Marne in the Cleveland Jewish News.



Emma Brandt, member of Laurel’s Class of 2010 and Brown University’s Class of 2014, was recently offered a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to Serbia for an English Teaching Assistantship.

Since graduating from Brown, Brandt has been in an AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) program at Blackstone Charter Academy in Pawtucket, RI. She will be there until August of this year.

Brandt is one of over 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2015-2016 academic school year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in the government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education and many other fields. Fifty-three Fulbright alumni from 12 countries have been awarded the Nobel Prize, and 82 alumni have received Pulitzer Prizes.

Click here for more information about the Fulbright Program.

A now regular contributor to the New York Times’ "Motherlode" blog, Lisa Damour, Director of Laurel School's Center for Research on Girls, writes about gap years in her latest piece. In “Getting In to College Doesn’t Mean Students Are Ready to Go.” Dr. Damour, discusses gap years based on her experiences with college-age students. The article provides insight into how taking a gap year after high school may benefit some students.

Read Dr. Damour’s article here.

NEOSEF Winners 2015

Six Upper School STEM Research students and two from Middle School competed in the four-day Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF) in March and ALL of them earned honors and special awards. Congratulations to Aleena Brown ’16, Brooke Siegler ’17, Katie Whitmoyer ’18, Maryum Ali ’18, Sophia Downey ’18, Yui Ishihara ’18, Ria Desai ’19 and Linzy Malcom ’20!

600 students from over 80 area schools set up their displays, discussed their projects with 260+ judges and competed for more than $20,000 in prizes.

Aleena Brown ’16: Aleena undertook an ambitious Engineering project modeling how a heart defect called ventricular septal defect impacts flow in the heart. Aleena built a prototype and iterative model that was really impressive and she earned honorable mention and a ribbon for her efforts.

Brooke Siegler ’17: Brooke selected a Behavioral Biology project and studied the dangerous influence of American media on body image in teenage girls by surveying her fellow students after they watched a television show with or without advertisements that focused on ideal and unattainable images of beauty. Brooke was recognized as a 2nd place winner and was rewarded with a ribbon, a medal and a cash award.

Katie Whitmoyer ’18: Katie chose to do an Environmental Science project on the Chagrin River. Her project, entitled “H20 vs. HBO: The effect of suburbia on water quality” was well researched and she was out sampling water in December. Katie was recognized as a 3rd place winner and she received a ribbon and a medal. She also received a special award - the Stockholm Junior Water Prize from the Water Environment Federation.

Yui Ishihara ’18: Yui’s project was in Behavioral Biology. She studied the impact of cell phones on task performance and accuracy. Yui’s findings are a reminder that while an important resource at times, cell phones are indeed a significant distraction. For her efforts, Yui was recognized as a 2nd place winner with a ribbon, a medal and cash prize. She also earned a special award for Best Psychology Project for Grades 9 and 10 from Cleveland State University’s Department of Psychology – an award that includes a certificate and another cash prize.

Maryum Ali ’18: Maryum studied the effect of reliable and unreliable information sources (such as the BBC vs. Tumblr) on people’s confidence in that information. Not only were her findings revealing, but she earned 2nd place honors including a ribbon, medal and cash prize.

Sophia Downey ’18: Sophia, an avid horseback rider, wanted to find a way to use a horse’s family tree to predict the success of former race horses in a different type of competition. For her efforts and clarity, Sophia earned 2nd place honors including a ribbon, medal and cash prize.

Additionally, Maryum and Sophia each earned the NEOSEF Board of Directors Award for an Outstanding Project. This award was given to only 18 participants in the entire competition regardless of grade level or project category. Each received a certificate and a cash prize.

Ria Desai wins awardRia Desai ’19: Eighth Grader Ria earned 3rd place at NEOSEF for her independent research project entitled “Water vs. Gatorade™: Which is better?” She competed in Medicine and Health Category for Grades 7 and 8. Ria’s work was also recognized with two special awards! The Cleveland Chapter of the American Statistical Society awarded her with the honor of “Best Statistical Project, Grades 7/8,” while the Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital honored Ria’s work as the “Best Health/Medicine Project Grades 7/8.”

Linzy Malcolm ’20: Linzy entered an independent research project in Behavioral Sciences studying the possible health effects of a common habit of competitive swimmers and earned honorable mention in the Grades 7/8 age group.

STEM Research at Laurel: Laurel students have the option to engage in STEM Research both on and off campus. Research work that takes place at Laurel is under the mentorship of a Laurel science faculty member. Students meet together and also spend hours outside of class engaged in independent, original research. The course culminates in a research presentation (oral, written and/or visual) to audiences that might include the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair and/or a research journal.

Or, students may utilize the STEM Research Protégé Internship option where research is conducted at an off-campus laboratory/site under the mentorship of a university- or industry-based researcher. Students meet weekly with the Protégé coordinator, spend significant time in the research lab and commit additional time to analysis of their work. The STEM Protégé Project also culminates in a research presentation (oral, written and/or visual) to audiences that might include the Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair and/or a research journal.

Scholastic’s prestigious 2015 Art Awards have been announced and Laurel has two national winners! Rachel Rabin ’16 won a Gold Medal for her digital art piece, “Letting Go,” and Emma Bachman ‘15 won a Silver Medal for her drawing titled “Forest Fire.” This recognition determined by panels of creative professionals, identifies Rachel and Emma as two of the most talented young artists in the nation.

This year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards saw over 300,000 submissions from students in grades 7 – 12 and fewer than 1% of entrants received National Medals. Both students are eligible to travel to New York’s Carnegie Hall this June to accept their awards at a special ceremony. Congratulations to these two artist-scholars on their amazing accomplishments!

Click here to read more about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

Rachel Rabin '16

Letting Go, Rachel Rabin '16 - Gold Medal


Forest Fire, Emma Bachmann '15 - Silver Medal

Ninth Grader Morgan Goldstein is no stranger to media attention. Last summer she competed in Food Network’s "Teen Chopped Tournament". In January, she was named one of Cleveland Magazine’s "Most Interesting People of 2015" and on Monday, March 23, Goldstein was featured on the Fox Morning News where she flawlessly executed a spring risotto on live television.

Watch Morgan’s appearance on Fox and get her spring risotto recipe here.

  • September 2015
    • SatSep05 MS Homework-Free Weekend
    • MonSep07 Dream Week
    • MonSep07 Labor Day: NO CLASSES - BUILDING CLOSED
    • TueSep08 Pre-Primary Full Day Begins
    • WedSep09 Grade 8 Class Trip
    • ThuSep10 Grade 8 Class Trip
    • ThuSep10 Grades 5 & 6 Advisory Parent Breakfast 8:00 AM
    • ThuSep10 Grades 5 & 6 Parent Coffee 8:30 AM
    • ThuSep10 Primary Parents' Night 6:30 PM
    • FriSep11 Grade 8 Class Trip
    • FriSep11 LSPA General Meeting 8:30 AM
    • SatSep12 Laurel Races for the Cure
    • SunSep13 Rosh Hashanah Begins at Sundown
    • MonSep14 Dare Week
    • MonSep14 Rosh Hashanah: NO CLASSES - BUILDING CLOSED


An All-Girls’ Independent College Preparatory School for Grades K-12 and Coed Pre-Primary
Lyman Campus Butler Campus

Laurel's Mission Statement:

To inspire each girl to
fulfill her promise and
to better the world. 



All-School Open House

Sunday, October 25, 2015
1:00-3:00 p.m.

"Laurel transforms students into strong women through an exemplary education and an atmosphere built on growth." Caitlin Cronin '16

"During my time at Laurel, I developed the mental aspect of my tennis game -- staying focused and staying in every match. The support that I've gotten from my team and my coaches has really helped me to do that." Danielle Buchinsky '15

"Laurel encourages its girls to try things they think they can do, things they don't think they can do, and even things they never thought about doing." Jazlynn Baker '16

"Laurel is a place where almost every girl can find a home. The community here is extremely accepting and diverse, and every student has her own ideas and opinions that are valued by everyone."Rebecca Brichacek '16

"Confident, independent, open-minded, fearless. That's what comes to mind when I think of what Laurel has given to my daughters." Laurel Parent


“The greatest gift Laurel gave me was the gift of lifelong friendships with classmates, teachers and parents of classmates. We have a special bond based on our shared experiences.” 
Betsy Sweeney Backes ‘78

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