All-School Calendar
Ria Desai '19 was recently featured as an unsung hero in the Chagrin Valley Times for her local volunteer work and bone density research, which she presented at a recent American College of Rheumatology conference. In the article Ria explains that when a serious car accident sidelined her tennis season, she "Started working more with an organization called The Up Side of Downs that offers Buddy Up Tennis clinics to children with Down Syndrome in Northeast Ohio. She also increased her hours volunteering with Inner City Tennis Clinics, a summer camp for Cleveland children that incorporates tennis, literacy, wellness, poetry and fitness." 
In addition, Ria launched a STEM-based research project utilizing her Dream. Dare. Do. (D3) period time that looked at the relationship between physical exertion and bone density in girls. She states that, "It came from my mom always telling me to drink milk because of bone issues and a lack of calcium. And then, though I wasn’t playing at the time, I was still an athlete, so I combined those two ideas and developed the project." Ria is now working on turning the project into a manuscript and hopes that it gets accepted into a journal and paper. She also hopes to expand the study to include more ages as well as boys. Click here to read the full story.
On October 10, several members of the Laurel community, including 12 alumnae, spent the afternoon with students in Grades K-8 leading activities focused on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The goal was to empower and spark entrepreneurial spirit in the students. Activities were designed by VentureLab and incorporated using the girls' resourcefulness, problem-solving skills and curiosity. Many of the activities focused on idea generation, creating a business model, design thinking and pitching. The Sun Press and Sun Messenger included a recap of this fun and engaging afternoon on their front pages.
Primary School teachers Shannon Lukz and Emily Felderman were both featured, along with several Grade Four students, in a recent Girls in STEM segment that aired on WKYC Channel 3. Shannon and Emily have been instrumental in designing and leading a month-long immersion learning unit at Laurel's Butler Campus called "Power & Purpose," which focuses heavily on science, math and the many components of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) learning. Throughout the unit students surveyed the land and created topography maps, tested the water quality of Griswald Creek, and learned all about the mechanics of a bike, which they used as their main mode of transportation for the month. WKYC visited Butler on the final day of the unit to capture the work of the students, who designed and built the "Adventure Rivulet Bridge," which is now in use at Butler. Click here to watch the full story.

Maggie Hilkert '19 was featured in Currents Magazine highlighting her love for finance, which she discovered through her participation in Laurel's Capstone Experience. In her Sophomore year, Maggie traveled to San Francisco and after meeting a Laurel alumna who is a venture capitalist, stated that, "She had the coolest job I ever saw. I loved talking to her. I was fascinated with her job and that helped me narrow that aspect of my project." As Maggie progressed with her Capstone Experience, she "interviewed venture capitalists around the country, shadowed Cleveland-area business owners, interned at an equity research firm, and decided to start an Investment Committee at Laurel." The article goes on to say that, "Earlier this month, Maggie moderated a panel of women in finance as part of Laurel's Day of the Girl celebration which, this year, had a theme of financial literacy." 

Click here to read the full story.

The Cleveland Jewish News has named Jami Morris '21 as its Player of the Week. Jami earned the honors after finishing in a tie for first place at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state girls golf tournament October 12-13 at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Gray Course in Columbus. She shot a 73-74 for a total of 147, plus-7, tying for lowest score. In the article, Jami said she wasn’t surprised she performed so well in the tournament. "I think I worked extremely hard this past summer. I feel that all paid off and I hope to continue next year, and the year after, and hopefully in college. Except on the first day, I didn’t even think I was playing in the state tournament. Walking off the 18th green, I thought, 'I’m happy with how I played, I could have played better, but there’s always next year.'" 

Laurel golf coach Marti Hardy said she was impressed with Morris’s performance, but she wasn’t surprised. "I’ve watched her all along work hard to get where she has. I think the harder thing is, when you play at states, you’re not necessarily playing with the players that are scoring what you’ve been scoring the last day or so. It’s an unknown, they’re out there somewhere on the course playing. Maybe it’s a good thing that you don’t know, but I watched Jami just keep it all together really well and not doubt herself. I saw her hit two phenomenal shots that two golf pros who were near me said, 'she’s the real deal, she really knows how to play this game,' and it’s true."

Click here to read the full story.



Congratulations to these seven members of Laurel's class of 2019 who have received Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise, based on their Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test scores. More than 1.6 million juniors took the PSAT in 2017. Catherine Amaddio, Grace Cousens, Ria Desai, Meredith Hilkert, Cameron Kaye, Simran Surtani, and Daania Tahir all scored in the top 50,000 of those participants.

Early childhood education is just as rewarding for educators as it is for students. This was the theme in a recent Cleveland Jewish News article that featured interview excerpts from Laurel Prekindergarten teacher Kathryn Marshall. In the story Kathryn states that, "Children keep me in the moment and help me rediscover the joy of being in the moment. I get to have the same awe with children right there with them." She goes on to explain that she is "Always trying to find new, innovative ways to teach children. The sense of joy and wonder of living in the moment also translates into my life." Click here to read the full story, including the sage advice Kathryn would give her younger self.
Jami Morris '21, who competed in the Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals in Augusta earlier this year, recently conducted a Q&A with Cleveland Magazine where she talked golf, fashion, the perfect miniature golf hole design and her hobbies off the golf course. Her story was featured in the magazine's Private School Special Section. When asked what her favorite golf attire is she replied "I have these crazy bright pink shorts. If I had 20 pairs, I would wear them every day. They brighten my game and encourage me to be the best golfer I can be." She also touched on equality in her interview, stating that "Women should be able to play with the men, on the same courses and with the same yardages. That would be a big step up for women's golf, and we will rise to the challenge." 

Click here to read her full interview.  

Jackson to work together with Ann V. Klotz and Board members to maintain the Laurel School Mission

SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH – (August 22, 2018) Laurel School is pleased to announce Lynnette Jackson ’93 as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. Jackson, a Relationship Manager and Vice President at Key Private Bank, has been on the Board since 2012, most recently serving as Vice Chair. Prior to joining the Board of Trustees, Jackson held the role of Laurel Alumnae Board President from 2009-2012.

“It is both an honor and a privilege to serve in this role as Board Chair,” said Lynnette Jackson. “It is an opportunity to give back to my alma mater who, through academic rigor, enriching experiences and leadership opportunities, has inspired me and my family to dream, dare and do. As Laurel embarks on its 125th Birthday, the work of this Board will certainly shape the next 25-50 years of the school.”

In her Relationship Manager role at Key Private Bank, Jackson delivers integrated strategies and forward-thinking, objective advice to her clients. These skills will continue to serve her well in her new role as Board Chair where Jackson will work closely with Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz and other Board members to continue to set and maintain a vision and strategy for the school. Together, they will ensure sound financial management, appropriate stewardship of resources, and accountability towards goals.

“I am so pleased to be working hand-in-hand with Lynnette and the entire Board of Trustees to continue living Laurel’s mission and building on our long-term vision,” said Ann V. Klotz, Laurel Headmistress. “The Board has been instrumental in the development of our Strategic Roadmap and it is an exciting time for us as we embark on our next goal. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.”

Other updates to the Board include Kristine Swails Bryan ’80, who has been named Vice Chair. Bryan is an Equity Research Consultant with Private Harbour Investment Management, LLC, and has been a member of the Board since 2015, most recently serving as Chair of the Investment Committee. Megan Lum Mehalko ’83, Chaundra King Monday ’95, and Suzanne Schulze Taylor ’81, have all been newly elected to the Board with three-year terms commencing June 2018.


Founded in 1896, Laurel School is a nationally recognized school for girls in Kindergarten through Grade 12, with a coeducational Pre-Primary School. Its mission is “to inspire each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world.”




Laurel's After School Coordinator, Tina Ohmart, was recently included in a Cleveland Jewish News article highlighting the importance of after-school programming and its benefits to kids. In the story she states that, "We have students who stay after school for supervised play and they hang out with their friends and develop emotional and social skills. And then there are structured activities where students can learn something specific as well. But across the board, there are social-emotional skills that can be learned. Everything else is a plus.”

She also highlights how after-school programming can be a great avenue for personal growth. Click here to read the full story.

  • December 2018
    • ThuDec13 Middle School Music Celebration 7:00 PMLyman
    • SatDec15 ISEE Testing for Prospective Students
    • MonDec17 Grade 1 Resilience Week Butler
    • TueDec18 Grade 1 Resilience Week Butler
    • TueDec18 Upper School Exams and Rehearsals Lyman
    • WedDec19 Grade 1 Resilience Week Butler
    • WedDec19 Upper School Exams and Rehearsals Lyman
    • ThuDec20 All-School Snowflake Assembly (Formal Uniform) 9:00 AMLyman, Tippit Gymnasium
    • ThuDec20 Upper School Winter Concert (Formal Uniform - Upper School Students Required) 7:00 PMLyman: Tippit Gymnasium
    • FriDec21 First Day of Winter
    • FriDec21 NO CLASSES for Pre-Primary, Primary and Grades 5-7

Ann V. Klotz, Head of School

Ann V. Klotz head shotWhen I first crossed the threshold of Laurel School’s Lyman Campus, I knew this was the school I wanted to lead. Sunlight streamed through the stained glass window at the top of the stairs; girls of all ages greeted me—friendly, authentic. "This school knows who it is,” I remember thinking. Elegant but progressive, steeped in tradition, but innovative, this school felt right for me and for my family, for Laurel is a community.

Each day, I feel inspired and privileged to lead Laurel, to know our girls, to work among brilliant colleagues, to teach, to learn. I have spent most of my life in girls’ schools—13 years as a student, 20 years as a young teacher and administrator and more than a decade at Laurel. We are a school deeply committed to the success of every single child. While superb outcomes are key, so is the learning process.

For over a century, we have offered selective admission to girls who seek challenges. Laurel girls are ambitious, eager to claim their voices and reach their goals. Our superb faculty and college-preparatory program promote critical thinking, intellectual risk-taking, problem solving and creativity. Our school culture prizes outcomes and emphasizes resilience. Learning at Laurel is active, interdisciplinary, noisy and joyful. In the classroom, on the athletic fields, in a stream at the Butler Campus, in the Collaboratory—girls learn by doing.

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

Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls (LCRG) substantiates our claim that we know girls—how they learn, think and feel—better than any other school. LCRG’s original research, professional development for faculty—our own as well as at schools around the corner and across the country, and parent education ensure that we put the world’s best research to work for girls.

Because women who lead must possess a strong moral compass and have experience in discerning what is essential from what isn’t, we cultivate courage, respect and empathy.

Girls matter at Laurel. Every girl, every day. In the context of the swiftly changing educational landscape, we produce graduates who are confident and capable, leaders and learners, dreamers and doers.

Laurel girls dive in, explore, immerse themselves in learning. We invite you to do the same. Come learn more about Laurel.


Ann V. Klotz
Head of School

About Ann

Ms. Klotz began her tenure as Laurel’s tenth Head of School in 2004. A graduate of Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA, she was graduated from Yale College, where she earned her B.A. in English. Her M.A. is in the individual study of drama from the Gallatin Division of New York University. She has worked in girls’ schools as a teacher and administrator for more than thirty years and is devoted to the social and emotional development of girls.

At Laurel, Ms. Klotz also teaches English in the Upper School and drama in the Primary. Particularly interested in the public purpose of private school, Ms. Klotz is proud that both the NorthStar Collaborative and Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls, founded during her headship, use the School’s resources on behalf of girls at Laurel and beyond.

She serves on the boards of the Heads’ Network, the National Coalition of Girls Schools, Lawrence School, and Headmistresses of the East. Deeply committed to mentoring women to independent school leadership, she has served on the faculty for the NAIS Institute for Aspiring School Heads and the Heads’ Network Leadership Seminar. Ms. Klotz has blogged for the Huffington Post—frequently on topics around the intersection of motherhood and school leadership. Additionally, her work has appeared in Independent School MagazineCommunity Works Institute Journal, and the NAIS Independent Ideas Blog.

Follow her on Twitter: @AnnKlotz

Ann in Print

Writing Life: How Not to Get an MFA – A Step by Step Guide - Hippocampus Magazine - 09/10/2018

Yearning: Time Spent in the Company of Laura Ingalls Wilder - bookclique - 08/23/2018

After Page One - Literary Mama - 08/20/2018

The Lead Writer: Modeling the Habits of Writing for Students - Independent Teacher - 5/2018

Birds of a Feather: For My Headmistress Flock - Ann V. Klotz's personal blog - 03/05/2018

Fighting the Gray - Ann V. Klotz's personal blog - 02/25/2018

Invisible Legacy: On Longing After Infertility, Even When Babies Grow Up - Mutha Magazine - 01/30/2018

A Head of school's 14 Tips on Interview Etiquette - NAIS Independent Ideas - 01/22/2018

Rules of Thumb for School Leaders - The Heads Network - 09/11/2017

Summer's Lease - Topology Magazine - 08/21/2017

Because it is My Name - Ann's Blog - 07/28/2017

Not Pompeii - Feminine Collective - 05/22/2017

My Maths Anxiety - Independent Schools Victoria (Australia) - 02/17/2017

Cured - Coffee & Crumbs - 01/13/2017

The Head’s Assistant: More Precious than Rubies - The Head's Letter - 01/2017

Wondrous - Mothers Always Write - 12/19/2016

Celebrating My Inner Sloth - Huffington Post - 12/17/2016

Nonfiction by Ann Klotz - The Grief Diaries - 12/12/2016

Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Game Six of the World Series - Huffington Post - 11/06/2016

Pioneer Daze - Mothers Always Write - 10/17/2016

Luckier Than I Deserve - The Manifest-Station - 07/28/2016

Kindred Spirits: In Praise of Online Classes - Brevity - 07/25/2016

After Page One: Why I Write - Literary Mama - 07/01/2016

W-A-T-E-R: Annie and Helen in the Theatre - Huffington Post - 06/30/2016

A Working Mother's Take on 'Hamilton' - Huffington Post Parents - 05/13/2016

Work-Life Balance, Ha! - Mothers Always Write - 04/18/2016

Love the Words - NAIS Independent School Magazine - 03/2016

Ailments - The Good Mother project - 03/20/2016

The Care and Feeding of a Carnival Goldfish - Literary Mama - 3/2016

Soapsuds - Mamalode - 03/06/2016

Gloria, Arianna, Kakenya and Me - Huffington Post Education - 02/17/2016

Senior Night - Huffington Post Education - 02/05/2016

Mom's Math Anxiety - NAIS Independent School Magazine - 01/26/2016

Before Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes - Mothers Always Write - 01/18/2016

For the New Year, Nine Mantras and Mottoes - NAIS Independent Ideas - 01/04/2016

Dog Whisperer - Huffington Post Parents - 12/22/2015

Lighting the Darkness - Cleveland Jewish News - 12/03/2015

The Baby We Didn't Adopt - Mothers Always Write - 11/16/2015

Voice and Vision: How Girls Learn to Lead and Resist Leading - NCGS Raising Girls' Voices - 10/01/2015

Violins of Hope - Huffington Post Arts and Culture - 10/01/2015

Goat's Adventures Abroad - Mothers Always Write - 09/21/2015

A Booster Shot on Parents' Night - NAIS Independent Ideas - 09/08/2015

Some Rules of Thumb for School Leaders from My Experience as Head of School - NAIS Independent Ideas - 08/17/2015

On the Mend: Grappling With Resilience - Huffington Post Education - 07/30/2015

Collateral Sorrow - Huffington Post Impact - 05/20/2015

April Cruelty - Huffington Post Women - 04/13/2015

Nurturing Resilience: Reminding Ourselves What Kids Need - NAIS Independent Ideas - 03/17/2015

Morning Meditation - Huffington Post Healthy Living - 03/04/2015

Double Sixes: What Backgammon and My Daughter Taught Me About How to Lighten Up - Huffington Post Parents - 02/03/2015

Better Together: Parenting a Child in an Independent School - Huffington Post Education - 12/11/2014

Keep On Chewing - Huffington Post Women - 11/25/2014

Taking Comfort - Huffington Post Parents - 09/02/2014

Stand on the Table! - Huffington Post Education - 08/20/2014

In the Time That a Blueberry Ripens - Huffington Post Parents - 08/01/2014

Girl Power! - Huffington Post Education - 07/18/2014

This Land Is Our Land - Huffington Post Post 50 - 07/03/2014

28 Things I Want Girls to Know... - Huffington Post Education - 06/07/2014

Post Mother's Day Blues - Huffington Post Parents - 05/13/2014

The Better Late Than Never Seder - Huffington Post Religion - 04/21/2014

Hummingbirds on Holiday - Huffington Post Parents - 04/11/2014

My Daughter, Jo March - Huffington Post Parents - 03/14/2014

Growing Up With Curly Top - Huffington Post Women - 02/18/2014

What's in a Name? - Huffington Post  - 02/04/2014

Strength vs. Stressors: Building Resilience to Help Girls Manage Stress - NAIS Independent School Magazine - Summer 2013

Reunions: Remembrances of Girlhoods Past - NAIS Independent School Magazine - Winter 2013

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. 


Pre-Primary & Primary School
Open House

Saturday, January 12, 2019
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Lyman Campus

More information


"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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