All-School Calendar
  • April 2017
    • ThuApr27 US Spring Concert 7:00 PMLyman
    • FriApr28 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform) Lyman, Tippit Gymnasium
    • FriApr28 Speech and Debate Year-End Celebration 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz, a graduate of Yale, was recently interviewed by her friend and former classmate Ellen Gibson McGinnis for a Q&A in the March issue of YaleWomenIn the piece she talks about the role Yale played in her career (and how she first aspired to be an actress), the profound influence her early years of teaching in the housing project had on her, and her passion for educating girls, including teaching beyond academics and Laurel's Center for Research on Girls. When asked what her next challenge is, Ms. Klotz replied that she "wants to work on how best to teach our girls empathy. It gets back to diversity, and having a mix of voices in the room or 'at the table.' And it is so important for our society now." Click here to read the full interview.  

Outdoor Pre-Primary Teacher and Outdoor Education Specialist Audrey Elszasz and Abbie Bole, who teaches Kindergarten through Grade 4 science, are both included in a Cleveland Magazine article titled "The Benefits of Nature-based Learning", which looks at area early-childhood programs that use nature to help teach. Ms. Bole was quoted in the piece stating "The best way for children to learn is when they can see it, touch it, taste it, hear it, smell it. That's what makes an impression on their young minds." In the piece Mrs. Elszasz states, "We're answering questions with questions: 'What do you think?' Children interact with each other as they try to figure out the answers on their own." 

In addition to this feature story, Kathryn Marshall, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher at Laurel, is featured as the expert in this month's "Ask the Experts" section, which also focuses on how students benefit from receiving an outdoor education. Click here for the story.

In a March Motherwell Magazine piece Lisa Damour, Ph.D., Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, participated in a Q&A on the topic of dress codes and girls, and the complexities of the cultural reaction to what girls wear. In the article Dr. Damour touches on the supposed benefits of a dress code versus the potential damage it might do to a girl's sense of control. She is quoted saying, "Many of the girls at Laurel School, where I work, use the word "love" to describe their attitude toward the school uniform. That said, many of the girls at Laurel had a hand in the choice to attend Laurel, so they knew what they were signing up for when they came. For students at schools that they did not choose, or schools that have no uniform but enforce a dress code, the situation is likely different, especially if the dress code is enforced in a mean-spirited way. But I would not assume that girls who follow a dress code necessarily feel that they are not in control of their bodies."

Click here to read the full interview. 

On the heels of their Scholastic Art Awards received earlier this year, Caroline Kahn '17 and Katie Dinner '17 each won the Herbert Ascherman Award for Photography, a regional award that is presented to two students each year. Caroline Kahn also received a Gold Key award for her photography and Katie Dinner received both a Silver Key and an honorable mention for her photography.

The Scholastic Arts & Writing Competition is an annual competition open to local students in Grades 7-12. The panel of judges is comprised of professional artists, art educators, writing and writing educators. More than 3,000 entries for both art and writing were submitted this year.

Congratulations to these students for this amazing honor.

On March 7, 2017 six Laurel students in Grades 9, 10 and 11 participated in the Northeastern Ohio Science & Engineering Fair (NEOSEF). Maryum Ali '18, Linnea Tyler '19, Katie Chen '20, and Katelyn Shakir '20 all earned 2nd place at the fair. Olivia Wenzel '20 received 3rd place. 

Grade 10 student Priya Khadilkhar earned an impressive 1st place in the regular judging and also walked away with four special awards: American Statistical Association, American Psychological Association, Cleveland Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and Cleveland State University Department of Psychology.

Many of the students are in Laurel's STEM Research class and while there was no specific topic focus at the event, each of the students chose their own category and had about two months to put their presentations together. Congratulations to all the girls on these incredible achievements!



Crain's Cleveland Business publisher and editor Elizabeth McIntyre recently attended a panel discussion hosted by Laurel's Entrepreneurship Capstone Students on the documentary film, "Dream, Girl" - a celebration of female entrepreneurs. She highlights that "the young women at Laurel know the power of female leadership because it's front and center in the school's mission to inspire girls to fulfill their promise and better the world. To be living, breathing 'Fearless Girls.'" She goes on to state that Laurel's mission is "what prompted the school to launch its Capstone Experience program last year, which gives students the chance to explore real-world issues while further developing their leadership skills in one of four areas: civic engagement, entrepreneurship, global studies and STEAM (a twist on STEM, "science, technology, engineering and mathematics", that adds "arts" to the mix.)"

Panelists at the event included Heather Ettinger '79, managing partner at Fairport Asset Management; Stephanie Silverman, publisher and owner of Your Teen Media; Nichelle McCall '01, CEO of Bold Startups; and Laura Bennett, COO and co-founder of Embrace Pet Insurance, each of whom shared their experiences in creating and running their own businesses. 

The editor goes on to highlight many of the inspiring messages shared during the panel discussion. "Persistence is one of the most valuable things," and "shatter stereotypes whenever you can," were just a few.

Click here to read the full story in Crain's Cleveland Business

Kathryn Purcell, Associate Head of School and Director of Enrollment Management at Laurel was recently featured in a Cleveland Jewish News story highlighting the importance of school culture and how it plays a crucial role in school selection.

Many factors can determine which school a child attends. Class size, programs, location and extracurricular activities can impact a parent's willingness to send a child to a particular school. But, parents should also consider a more abstract notion that exists within a school. School culture focuses on how staff members interact and uphold a shared set of values and beliefs and the school’s effect on students – like teaching practices, diversity and relationships within the school. When it comes to school choice, local educators say school culture should impact their choices as well. 

Kathryn is quoted saying, “(A school’s culture) allows a child to feel visible. You don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks,” Purcell said. “The sense of community kind of dictates how valuable a child feels at a school.”

She goes on to say that even though culture is an intangible factor when choosing a school, it’s just as crucial as anything else. A school’s culture encompasses not only the how the school feels, but also how it interacts with itself. These interactions should be a big part of deciding which school is the right fit.

Click here to read the full story.

Congratulations to the Laurel girls from Grades 5 and 6 who competed in the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) math competition on February 18, 2017! Laurel sent three teams of four this year--two from Grade 5 and one from Grade 6--and all received Blue Champion ribbons. The competition included 18 Fifth Grade teams and seven Sixth Grade teams. Similarly, teams from Laurel's Seventh and Eighth Grades competed on March 5 where they received the Champion Award and Medal Award respectively. 

The competition was comprised of four events, each roughly 15 minutes in length. Teams were tasked with working together to problem solve and work through mental math, construction and mixed application problems. Laurel students have been preparing since December to compete and their performance did not disappoint! 

Congratulations to all of the girls on their hard earned achievements!


Laurel School's eleventh annual Gator Bash took place on Saturday, February 11 at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown. The theme of the evening was "For the Love of Laurel" and it was clear the more than 500 attendees hold the school close to their hearts. The evening raised a total of $215,000 with $107,000 of that raised during the Call to the Heart paddle raise to support Laurel's new Innovation Fund. This fund will align with the School's new five-year Strategic Roadmap and provide some of the necessary resources to fund innovative education happening throughout Laurel. Highlights from this spectacular evening were included in the Cleveland Jewish NewsCurrents MagazineCleveland Magazine and

Featured in the photo above is Dan Angelino and Beth Embrescia, Chair of the Laurel Board of Trustees.

Summer at Laurel was recently highlighted in a roundup piece in Cleveland Magazine titled "Summer Camp Guide: Get Out and About." The story included feedback from Summer at Laurel Director Dr. Karen Edwards, who discusses a partnership with the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), which opens doors for students to explore drawing, painting, sculpting and printing. CMA and Summer at Laurel will also offer a printmaking camp, where students in Grades 8-12 spend a half-day working with teachers at the museum and the other half at Laurel's Lyman Campus. Dr. Edwards is quoted in the story saying, "The key is to find something that meets your child's interests or passions, and also challenges them."

Click here for the full story. 

  • April 2017
    • ThuApr27 US Spring Concert 7:00 PMLyman
    • FriApr28 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform) Lyman, Tippit Gymnasium
    • FriApr28 Speech and Debate Year-End Celebration 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • May 2017
    • MonMay01 AP Exams
    • MonMay01 Dream Week
    • MonMay01 Senior Exam Week
    • TueMay02 AP Exams
    • TueMay02 Senior Exam Week
    • TueMay02 Primary Parents "Looking Ahead" 6:30 PM
    • WedMay03 AP Exams
    • WedMay03 Senior Exam Week
    • WedMay03 MS Parents "Looking Ahead" 6:30 PM
    • ThuMay04 AP Exams
    • ThuMay04 Senior Exam Week

Illustrious Past. Innovative Future.

A Strategic Roadmap for Laurel School 2017-2022

This roadmap articulates our goals and creates a framework for a dynamic process that allows us to be both intentional and responsive as we chart Laurel’s direction forward.

To view our comprehensive Strategic Roadmap brochure, click the square icon in the lower right corner in the box above.

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

Committed to building a just and inclusive world, Laurel girls are courageous, creative, ethical and compassionate.


Strategic Roadmap Highlights


At Laurel, innovation is our tradition. Since 1896, Laurel has given girls their voices, inspired them to discover their passions and spurred them to pursue ambitious goals with vigor. In an increasingly complex world that requires critical thinking, resilience, collaborative problem solving and cultural competence, the education we design empowers girls to thrive. Our all-girls’ identity remains relevant because we expect our graduates to be daring leaders, undaunted in a world where gender equity is not yet a given. Laurel girls, held to the highest personal and academic standards, develop and refine their talents, gaining confidence, skills and relationships that sustain them for the rest of their lives.


Laurel School will deliver a powerful education built on the application of skills, the interdependence of concepts and the importance of self-advocacy. As always, Laurel girls learn to lead and to claim their voices.

The founders of Laurel wanted to give girls a competitive advantage in every aspect of their education. Foundational elements included:

leadership • problem solving • critical thinking • articulate speech •
eloquent writing • civic engagement

Now, to continue to equip Laurel girls with unparallelled opportunities, our contemporary approach also emphasizes:

resilience • creativity • entrepreneurship • collaboration •
flexibility • cultural competence

Our curricular tradition is research-based. Ten years ago, we began to develop original research and now Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls (LCRG) is a nationally-recognized resource for independent schools. LCRG conducts, disseminates and puts into practice research that connects exceptional academic outcomes with social and emotional well-being. The value of LCRG is central to each Laurel girl’s experience.

As our research shows, girls thrive when they are engaged in purposeful learning, inspired by great teaching and surrounded by a community invested in their success. Social and emotional well-being, purpose and personalized learning fuel our program and lead to great outcomes on standardized measures of achievement. Our curriculum balances technology-rich liberal arts rigor with large-scale opportunities to dive deeply into compelling initiatives. Two inspiring campuses—Lyman and Butler—will be reimagined to honor our illustrious past and drive our innovative future.

Strategy I: Girls and Learning

The highest standards of academic excellence will continue to inform our delivery of an innovative and purposeful education for girls.


  1. Place our nationally-recognized Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls (LCRG) at the heart of the Laurel experience for girls (Kindergarten - Grade Twelve), parents and faculty. What girls learn from LCRG programming will serve as a foundation for life beyond Laurel.

    • Design and sequence curricular units, beginning in Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, to increase impact of LCRG at Laurel.
    • Map and communicate existing LCRG programming to make visible the value added of LCRG at every grade level.
  2. Design and implement an innovative, comprehensive, progressive curriculum (academic, co-curricular and social-emotional) that will develop competencies to propel graduates into competitive colleges, evolving careers and a borderless world.

    • Weave the four themes of civic engagement, entrepreneurship, global studies and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) throughout the Kindergarten - Grade Twelve academic program.
    • Create and implement a schedule that promotes deep academic engagement, integration of disciplines, and development of individualized, self-directed learning at both campuses and in Northeast Ohio.
    • Make the Butler Campus central to experiential learning and environmental stewardship for every Laurel student. Time at Butler will challenge girls to apply concepts and to construct meaning through hands-on experiences that invite reflection, observation and application of skills—both with and without technology.
    • Cultivate empathy and respect for multiple points of view to build cultural competence.
    • Engage alumnae, parents and external partners to enhance the Laurel educational experience.
  3. Leverage leadership and invest in a dynamic, engaged and innovative faculty and staff.

    • Align compensation, benefits and professional development budgets to be comparable to a benchmarked cohort of independent schools.
    • Attract, retain, develop and sustain a talented and diverse faculty, whose pedagogy is shaped both by LCRG, as well as by lifelong curiosity about the evolving educational landscape.

Strategy II: Learning Environment

Laurel’s innovative and purposeful curriculum for Pre-Primary through Grade Twelve will come to life by reimagining space and facilities on both the Lyman and Butler Campuses to help girls learn best.


  1. Review and update existing Facilities Master Plan for Lyman Campus.
  2. Create a Facilities Master Plan for the Butler Campus.
  3. Optimize space on both campuses and prioritize needs for renovation, property acquisition and new construction to support our dynamic program.

Strategy III: Sustainability

Laurel will be intentional and strategic about financial sustainability. We will foster fiscal stewardship and transparency.


  1. Complete a needs assessment that will lead to a compelling new capital campaign led by the Board of Trustees.
  2. Refine and develop systems that use data more intentionally to design strategy around enrollment, fundraising and staffing.
  3. Increase revenue in areas other than tuition.

Measuring Success: For the past several months, committees have actively designed and started to implement initiatives to meet the goals of the roadmap. Over the next five years, we will be deliberate about measuring our progress and communicating key milestones and accomplishments.


Download a printable pdf of the Strategic Roadmap brochure (6.4 MB).

Have feedback on the Strategic Roadmap? Send and email to

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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