Congratulations to Laurel Senior Kata Lamb for her perfect score on the ACT! 

Kata took the ACT in June and scored a perfect 36. The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. On average, less than one-tenth of one percent of students who take the ACT earn the top score. 

Read more about Kata in her interview with


Congratulations to the 11 Laurel Seniors recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation!

The following members of the Class of 2016 were named as National Merit Semifinalists:

Amelia Delzell
Kata Lamb
Hannah Lauster
Serena Shapard
Caroline Werner

These remarkable students are five of 16,000 Semifinalists who have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. 

The following members of the Class of 2016 were named as Commended Students:

Isabella DeSantis
Grace Murray
Olivia Shao
Arianna Starkman
Monique Yen
Alexandra Zborovsky

These students have been recognized for their outstanding academic promise, but they will not continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. However, some of these students may be candidates for Special Scholarships provided by corporate and business sponsors.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 315,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title. 

With millions of teenagers heading back to school this month, the Chicago Tribune sought expert advice from Laurel’s Head of School, Ann V. Klotz, on how parents can best help teens manage the stress of the high school years.

The levels of anxiety and stress felt by teenagers seem to grow with each passing year—full academic loads, athletics, internships, preparing for standardized testing and the myriad of other stressors teenagers tackle as they finish high school and prepare for college often become overwhelming for teens.

In the article, “Teen stress: What parents can do for high schoolers under pressure.” Ms. Klotz uses her 30+ years of work with adolescents to coach parents on how to give their teens a little perspective.

Read the entire article here via the

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, 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 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


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.

  • October 2015
    • TueOct13 Class Day Trips for Grades 9-11
    • TueOct13 MS Room Parent Meeting 8:15 AM
    • WedOct14 Grades 9-11 PSAT Exam
    • ThuOct15 LSPA Picture Retake Day Lyman
    • ThuOct15 Pre-Primary Parent Coffee 8:45 AMLyman
    • FriOct16 Bring your Friend to School Day (K-Grade 7) 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    • FriOct16 NEOEA Visitation Day (Grades 9-12) 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
    • FriOct16 Grades 7 & 8 CCIS Social at Ruffing 4:00 PM to 6:00 PMRuffing
    • FriOct16 CRG Symposium Kickoff 5:00 PM
    • MonOct19 Dream Week
    • WedOct21 US Basketball and Swimming Parent Meeting 6:00 PMLyman
    • WedOct21 Parent-to-Parent for Dads Raising Daughters 7:00 PM


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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