All-School Calendar
  • 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

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 Cleveland.com, 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

The History of Laurel School

History of Laurel School | photo of front of building

The Early Years

In 1896, Jennie Prentiss established a school for young girls in her Cleveland home. After several years of increasing enrollment and changes in location to accommodate that growth, the school acquired its name - first Laurel Institute, then later Laurel School - because of the ancient Greek symbol of a wreath of laurel leaves, which signified intellectual achievement.

The arrival of Sarah E. Lyman as Headmistress, just after the turn of the 20th century, initiated a new phase in the development of Laurel School. The student body continued to expand under the leadership of Sarah Lyman, and she oversaw the construction of a large brick building on Euclid Avenue.

In the late 1920s as her students' families moved to the eastern suburbs, she secured property in Shaker Heights and built the impressive Tudor-style building that is Laurel’s current Lyman Campus.

During her leadership the “Alma Mater” and “Grace” were written, and the alumnae Christmas Luncheon was born, a tradition that still stands today. She left as her legacy a secure, established, thriving and academically rigorous school for girls that possessed a national reputation for excellence.

Taking the helm in 1931, Miss Edna F. Lake instituted the community service requirement and guided Laurel during the Great Depression and World War II. The Carol Service, Senior Speech and Senior Play were established under her leadership, becoming beloved traditions.

Changing With the Times (1960s-1990s)

Daniel O. S. Jennings became Laurel’s first and only Headmaster and served for 15 years, during a period of tremendous social upheaval. He encouraged racial diversity, saw the end of the school’s boarding program and oversaw the construction of the Margaret A. Ireland Primary Building and the first science wing. Also during his headship, the Laurel School Parents Association (LSPA) was born.

Under his tenure, and that of his successor, Barbara Barnes, the school contemplated coeducation but after much thoughtful discussion, the Board of Trustees reaffirmed Laurel’s dedication to educating girls and young women. It was during Barbara Barnes' tenure that Laurel became the first girls’ day school in the country to establish a faculty chair for teaching excellence.

Leah Rhys became Headmistress in 1984, joining an institution that was thriving. She brought national attention to the school with a five-year joint research study conducted by Carol Gilligan and other Harvard University researchers. The Laurel/Harvard Study of girls’ learning styles resulted in the 1992 publication of Meeting at the Crossroads.

Peter Hutton was named Acting Head of School for a two-year term (1990-1992), during which he tackled a variety of projects. Hutton oversaw the construction of a new Primary wing, supervised discussions surrounding the Middle School renovation and reorganized administration.

Laurel Into the 21st Century (1990s-Today)

Helen Rowland Marter, became the ninth Head of School in 1992 and immediately oversaw the installation of the school’s computer network and technology labs. During her tenure, the school celebrated its Centennial with a year-long schedule of activities and published Educating the Independent Mind, a history of the school.

Marter was instrumental in expanding the school - both in enrollment and in physical size. Under her leadership, Laurel grew with three additions to the Lyman Campus as well as a purchase of 140 acres of land spanning Russell and Chester townships in Geauga County. This “Fairmount Campus” (now known as the Butler Campus in honor of a transformational gift from John and Alice Lehmann Butler '49 of Dubuque, Iowa) is located 20 minutes east of the Lyman Campus.

In July 2004, Laurel welcomed its tenth Head of School, Ann V. Klotz, who joined Laurel from The Chapin School in New York City. Committed to balance among academics, arts and athletics, she has focused increased attention on the social and emotional lives of girls. Initiatives include development of the Laurel School mission -- “to inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world” -- which fuels all Laurel does; establishment of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, and participation as a founding member of the Online School for Girls. Under her energetic leadership, several new buildings have been added to the Butler Campus: the Conway Pavilion, the Magic Tree House, the 16,000-square-foot Butler Center for Fitness & Wellness and the yurt.

An All-Girls’ Independent College Preparatory School for Grades K-12 and Coed Pre-Primary
Lyman Campus Butler Campus
216.464.1441


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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