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The Top Workplaces 2017 was recently issued by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Laurel was included among the top 50 companies (150-499 employees) on the list! In addition, Ann V. Klotz was included in a story that accompanied the list, which offered advice on leadership versus "just being bossy." Ann is quoted saying, "Not everybody needs to be a stand-on-the-table leader who gives orders and makes a lot of noise. What I try to do is set an example that everybody needs to really choose their abilities, and not be afraid of or apologize for the abilities that don't come naturally. We put a lot of pressure on kids to do everything well, to check all the boxes, when they can excel in different ways." She goes on to say that "Leadership isn't always about being the boss; leadership is about shining the light on other people." Click here to read the full story.

"There are glamorous aspects to putting on a music festival—like booking bands—and some less-than-glamorous aspects—like determining how many Porta Pottys you’ll need," reported Andrew Cass of The News-Herald, who visited with a few Laurel students and staff on day two of this year's LaureLive. The story highlight's the partnership Laurel established with The Elevation Group, whose owners taught a semester-long elective where students took away lessons that go far beyond music. Antonina (Nina) Schubert '17 states in the piece that she has "Always had a passion for music. Seeing how something like this is put together is really cool. It’s a behind-the-scenes look.” Doing her Senior Project with The Elevation Group, she was able get an even closer look at the process, working side by side with the owners. Olivia Savona '19 shadowed the stage manager during the festival. That job gave her a better appreciation for what goes into a concert. She had the opportunity to speak to someone working the lights, getting an inside look at what they do. “It’s a lot more than just music. There are bits and pieces that can interest anyone," she was quoted saying.

The Plain Dealer also paid a visit to the festival. Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz is quoted in the piece stating, "Music with a Mission ties into Laurel's mission to inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world. I love what LaureLive offers our girls, who are given the opportunity to learn about and participate in the process from start to finish and take that experience with them once they leave the walls of Laurel."

WOIO paid a visit to LaureLive on Saturday, June 10 and saw firsthand how Laurel students played a role in the production of the two-day music festival taking place at Laurel's Butler Campus. Danielle Vinokur '17 was interviewed about her experience and was featured saying, "We saw press releases being written, we went to interviews with radio stations, so it was really cool seeing everything going on." Rising Junior Brynn Pierce '19 was also interviewed about what she has learned. "I've learned everything, from how much it costs to put on something like this to all the little details we have to pay attention to, to make everyone happy at our concert. It's awesome. I think that this is a good way to see whether or not you might like the music industry."

Trey Wilson, Laurel's Director of Strategic Partnerships, and Headmistress Ann V. Klotz were also on camera for the story. Ms. Klotz stated, "I am so excited that this festival gives the opportunity to put real-life learning into action for our girls. For them to be both entrepreneurial and think about their creative side is a pretty amazing opportunity at Laurel." View the full story online here.

The buzz around the second LaureLive, taking place June 10-11, 2017, started early this year when the Chagrin Valley Times wrote a story titled, "Laurel Students Behind Scenes of Music Fest." The article highlights the elective roughly 25 students chose to take that kicked off in January where they met each week with the owners of Elevation Group, the production company Laurel partnered with to put on LaureLive. The class focused on all aspects of producing an event of this magnitude--from securing and working with talent to merchandising, insurance and permitting. The class looked at all aspects of production and LaureLive weekend is the culmination of those efforts, where the students all will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on way. The article quotes Trey Wilson, Laurel's Director of Strategic Partnerships, who states that "This isn't happening in a vacuum. They're not just jumping in and doing one weekend without thinking of the preparation that went into it. They get a broad overview from people that have genuine expertise and during the weekend, they will have a way to engage in the event itself. From where I sit, that's a really effective model." Molly Easly '17 and Rachael Grossman '18, both of whom have been working closely with Elevation Group outside of the class, are also featured in the article talking about their role in the event and their take on the overall experience. 

Additional media highlights of Laurel students and their participation in LaureLive appeared in, where Peighton Taylor '18 was interviewed and the Cleveland Jewish News.

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz sat down with Micki Byrnes, President and General Manager of WKYC Channel 3 - Cleveland, for a “Square Talk” segment that aired on May 14. Ms. Klotz addressed the topics of girls and math, women and STEM careers, and the growing strength of all-girls’ schools throughout the country. View the full interview here.

The Cleveland Jewish News recently spoke with Leighann DeLorenzo Laurel's Upper School theater director, who began teaching a Testimony Theater course this semester after visiting Israel in January 2016. In Testimony Theater, survivors of the Holocaust are paired with young people, and the survivors tell their stories. The students then write the stories in a theatrical framework and perform an original theater piece based off the story. On May 4 the 12 students enrolled in Testimony Theater performed the stories of three survivors for a full house. Leighann was quoted in the story saying, “As we move forward as a community, it’s also about extending that lens forward into the now, into the present, whether that has to do with the current refugee crisis, civil rights, equal rights, any other movement where we’re really talking about people that are marginalized." She said having her students learn the stories of these survivors was an important part of their education. “We can really use these painful stories of yesterday that are also incredibly inspiring and really they can be transformative for our students today and turn them into the upstanders they should be and inspire them in their education at Laurel." Click here to read the full article. 

Playhouse Square announced its Dazzle Awards nominees on April 28 and we are excited to share that Nora Hyman '17 received a John and Patricia Chapman Best Actress nomination for her role as 'Audrey' in Laurel's production of Little Shop of Horrors! The Playhouse Square website states that "The Dazzle Awards aim to inspire and honor excellence in high school musical theater, and to recognize the importance of musical theater and arts education within the Northeast Ohio community. A panel of adjudicators attend one production at each participating school, provide educational feedback on the official evaluation form and determine nominees and awards for participating schools. This regional program culminates at the Connor Palace with the Dazzle Awards, modeled after the Tony Awards®, to recognize outstanding musical theater productions and students. The winners in the Best Actor and Best Actress category will have the opportunity to participate in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City." The Dazzle Award winners will be announced on May 20, 2017. The grand prize winners in The John and Patricia Chapman Best Actor and Best Actress categories will go on to represent Northeast Ohio at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as “The Jimmys,” in New York City, presented by The Broadway League.   

Laurel School's Annella Fernandez '17 is being recognized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Cleveland (NAMI GC) for her efforts to raise awareness of mental illness among her peer group. Annella will receive the Mental Health Teen Award on May 5 during the NAMI GC Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony. The Awards Ceremony will honor outstanding achievement in promoting and providing mental health services for individuals, families and organizations in the year 2016. Naturally drawn to the study of psychology, Annella has spent time shadowing a pediatric psychologist. In 2016 she wrote What I Learned and What You Need to Know: A Brief Introduction to Behavioral Disorders in Adolescents, a collection of vignettes about the patient cases she shadowed along with factual information about the mental health diagnoses. Congratulations to Annella!

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz recently lent her voice for NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) Member Voices, a new podcast series about the individuals who make up the independent school community. Each Podcast features a discussion with a different staff member at an NAIS-member school about his or her role, challenges, successes, inspiration sources and more. Ms. Klotz was one of the first to launch in the series, which has been very well received within the independent school community. Click here to listen to Ann’s podcast on leadership, empowering girls and the ways in which the Center for Research on Girls fuels our practice at Laurel. 

Laurel School alum Marne Levine '88 was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article highlighting her role as chief operating officer for Instagram. Ms. Levine, a former White House official, arrived in the Silicon Valley in 2015 and "has been helping Instagram mature into a full-fledged business." The article quotes Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s co-founder and chief executive, who calls Ms. Levine "'an efficiency guru' who has helped the app avoid some of the pitfalls of rapid growth."

Prior to joining Instagram, Ms. Levine served as vice president of global public policy for Facebook, where she "grew the policy team, which manages Facebook’s relationship with governments and responds to privacy laws and regulation, from fewer than a dozen people to more than a hundred." The article goes on to state that "once Ms. Levine moved over to Instagram at the beginning of 2015, she dove in with the creation of a formal budget, giving the company a comprehensive view of its spending for the first time. She also pushed to expand the Instagram partnerships team, which manages the app’s relationship with public figures, publishers and others to ensure that they continued to flock to Instagram. She helped hire influential figures such as Eva Chen, former editor of Lucky magazine, to oversee its fashion ties, and Lauren Wirtzer-Seawood, who led Beyonce’s digital strategy, to run music partnerships."

The article details Ms. Levine's path to success at Instagram. Click here to read the full story. 

  • June 2017
    • FriJun30 Online Forms for 2017-18 School Year Due Today!
  • July 2017
    • TueJul04 Independence Day - BUILDING CLOSED
  • August 2017
    • FriAug04 Summer at Laurel Ends
    • MonAug21 Fifth Grade and New Student Orientation
    • WedAug23 FIRST DAY OF CLASSES for Grades K-12 (Half Day for K)
    • WedAug23 Middle School Fall Athletics Begin

Alumnae Spotlight

alumnae spotlight banner

Alumnae Spotlight showcases amazing Laurel women and the paths they have charted since graduation. Whether they are doctors, designers, artists, authors, scientists, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers, pharmacists, or civic activists or volunteers, Laurel women inhabit nearly all careers and corners of the world helping to make it a better place. Our alumnae and the journeys that they have taken speak to the essence of a Laurel education and what makes this School and the community of women who call it their own distinctive. This space highlights their fascinating lives and the mountains they continue to move.

If you would like to be featured in our Alumnae Spotlight, or know of an alumna who might, please email Megan Findling.

May 2017 Alumnae Spotlight

Elizabeth Schaul ’04

Proud Green team member Elizabeth Schaul ’04 received her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Psychology, cum laude, from Boston University. After college she stayed in Boston and is a social media project manager for State Street Global Advisors. If social media at its core is about relationship building through connection, interaction and information sharing, then relationship building has featured prominently in her life, long before the advent of Facebook and other social media platforms. She and Jessica Grogan Burnett ’04 have been best friends since Third Grade in Miss Crissman’s class and in addition to other classmates she is close to, especially Nicole Brown ’04 and Lauren Chrien Brown ’04, she stays in touch with alums from the classes below and above her own. Social media helps her continue those relationships.

You entered Laurel in Prekindergarten. Why Laurel?

My enlightened parents let me choose between Laurel and Hathaway Brown, as long as I was at an all-girls school. They recently had read the research produced by Carol Gilligan and Harvard about women having better long-term outcomes if they were educated in an all-female environment. I chose Laurel because there was a strawberry-scented doll in the classroom I visited that I fell in love with at first sight. I was crestfallen when on my first day at Laurel, the doll was nowhere to be found. I never saw her again.

Obviously, you found new things to love at Laurel! What is the most important thing you learned at Laurel (something you draw upon even now)?

Establishing confidence and faith in myself and knowing my own abilities and limitations. Once you leave Laurel, and then after you leave college, you are for the first time adrift— it will be the first time in your life that you don’t have school to attend in the fall (unless you head directly to graduate school directly after college, which I do not recommend), the first time you aren’t part of an automatic community, and the first time that you will not be with peers of the same age and life stage every day as you have been to this point.

There is an Emerson quote, which I think of often: “'If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me.” Retaining that faith in myself has been key for me in periods of my life that were less stable, consistent, or structured. I have found that even when others doubted or questioned me, I wasn’t bothered by their perception because I realized it had no bearing upon what I am capable of or who I am. Many don’t have that belief in themselves and it is a gift, one I recognize and appreciate and largely attribute to my time at Laurel.

You’ve noted that Laurel allowed you to beat to your own drum…can you explain more about that?

Laurel does an excellent job of allowing each student to be herself. I think if I had attended a coed school, I would not have been nearly as comfortable expressing myself every day in class because I would have felt more pressure to conform and more anxiety about answering a question incorrectly or doing something that would have made me feel or look silly. At Laurel, even at a young age, I usually sat in one of the front rows near the middle, eager to answer the teacher’s questions and participate. I felt— and still feel —that Laurel created space for students to be themselves and really allowed and nurtured students to grow within that space, to explore who they were, and to express that wholly.

There also was a tremendous amount of freedom and opportunity to try new things provided you worked hard and did your best—how many other high schools would have allowed their Seniors to go off to New York City for a month? Yet that’s what Jessica Grogan and I did on our Senior project (our project was to create a Laurel girl’s guide to New York). I always had a strong sense of possibility while I was at Laurel, that anything I could conceive of and put the effort into creating, I could make it happen. That optimism and sense of opportunity is a wonderful gift and I draw upon it even now.

I also learned at Laurel that speaking up for what you care about and what you think is right is a very effective way to bring about change. My sense of activism, my willingness (even eagerness) to do what I think is right, and my sense of conviction when it comes to my various beliefs and causes are an integral part of who I am. Laurel gave me the space and the education to understand how to ask questions, dig for answers, how to be an involved and active citizen who cares for and gives back to her community, how to be resourceful and creative when it comes to finding solutions, and how to develop and expand upon my own opinions and ideas.

You are on the social media team for State Street Global Advisors. Social media has exploded and changed the landscape about how many of us communicate. Is there a typical day and if so, can you describe it? What are some of the positive experiences you’ve had doing social media? What are the most important skills to have to be successful in what you do?

Social media really varies depending on the size of the company and what is being marketed—a product versus a service —and to whom it is being marketed which affects the platform you use and the way you promote and advertise. I have done social media for a very small company selling a service, and now, in a much larger company, that is selling a product, and the experiences are polar opposites. In a smaller company, marketing is usually an afterthought. In that environment, usually it’s a very small number of people working on social media, and it is a small part of their role, so it doesn’t always get the attention it requires. In a larger, more-established organization, we have an entire team that supports social media, and there is more in the way of strategy, planning, and analysis. Each piece of output may be seen or touched by over a dozen people.

A typical day can involve examining current stock market sentiment (which will impact the mood of our audience), reviewing the publishing calendar, checking in to ensure content we want to promote is ready, strategizing potential content to promote in the future, reviewing social media posts, looking at what our competitors are saying or doing, analyzing results, and working with external vendors and internal teams to make sure everything is on schedule.

I like the immediacy of social media; you are able to start measuring impact right away. I like having the ability to tweak our approach on an ongoing basis—I am an inquisitive person and having the ability to get real-time feedback is ideal. In order to be successful in social media, and really any type of marketing, one must know one’s audience, be willing to explore and try new things, and to make mistakes. Also critical is being organized, flexible, and analytical, a strong communicator, and open to new concepts and ideas.

What do you do in your ‘spare time’?

I volunteer a lot— I am a Clinic Escort at my local Planned Parenthood affiliate, and I am also a founding member and on the Steering Committee of their Young Friends group (a group of young professionals who support PP). I am also a marketing/social media volunteer for a local refugee resettlement nonprofit, called Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center. My friends call me The Encourager— I like to lift up other people, especially other women, advising them professionally and encouraging them to go after their dreams. In this capacity, I mentor friends and younger relatives.

When I need to rejuvenate, I enjoy swimming, the beach (I love living near the ocean), salsa dancing (Boston has a large salsa community) and Boston’s restaurant scene.

What advice would you give to current Laurel girls?

Study abroad in college.

Don’t be afraid to take risks or to try things on your own and to chart your own course.

Appreciate Laurel— it is such a unique place and you won’t fully recognize how unusual it is until you are gone. Laurel offers you the time and space to explore your talents and gifts and to start to imagine how your future will take shape, so do not waste this opportunity. Value the special connection created amongst Laurel students and alumnae as a result of being educated there (and in an entirely female environment)— I was quite shocked when I got to college and was no longer with other Laurel girls and discovered that while I valued my female roommates and classmates for who they were as individuals, they viewed me as competition and kept me at arms’ length. I think the social climate between women is (hopefully) changing, but at the time, I felt this gap in my college female friendships as a loss and it was an adjustment and made me miss Laurel all the more.

Also, take a women’s studies class in college, even if you are not a social science or liberal arts student— it will open your eyes to a different perspective of history, biology, etc., than you have previously considered.

What has been the most surprising life lesson you have learned so far?

How frequently and with unnerving regularity my parents have been right. And, also, how people’s personalities never really change—I see this in myself and in others. My father says there is nothing like old friends and it’s true. I can count on my Laurel friends to be exactly as they were 10, 15, 20, 25 years ago. It is refreshing and comforting at the same time and always brings me back to the earliest years of my life.

If you could write your life’s philosophy for a message in a fortune cookie, what would it be?

Live with integrity, be brave, and never lose your childlike sense of wonder.  

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

October 2017
exact date and time coming soon
Lyman Campus

"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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