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

Equity & Inclusion

Laurel School Equity and Inclusion | stained glass window

At Laurel School, inspiring each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world requires that we respect and honor the whole-self of each member of our community. We are committed to being a diverse school community that is enriched by the wide variety of experiences and perspectives of all constituencies — students, faculty, parents/guardians and staff.

An all girls’ school, K-12, with a coed Pre-Primary, Laurel School is proud to be an inclusive and equitable school community that welcomes students without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, handicap or disability or sexual orientation. Additionally, we actively seek faculty and staff without regard to these identifiers or gender.

Equity and Inclusion at Laurel serves as a resource to the community for training, social and cultural programming, and inclusive educational approaches. We strive to promote equity and justice. We are Laurel. And we are a community. And our mission says it all: to inspire each member of our community to fulfill their promise and to better the world.

Equity and Inclusion Programming

Common Ground
Common Ground is a community conversation. Laurel girls share mealtime conversations about topics that they feel are important and critical for discussion. United by a common question, all Common Ground conversations have the same goal: to create spaces where meaningful connections are made and purposeful actions begin. Our hope at Laurel is to have students who do not think alike or agree on a subject, participate in Common Ground so that the discussions will enable us to look at many different perspectives. Conversations are meant to be a dialogue, not a debate. In dialogue, mutual understanding is the goal. We strive to understand each other, even across different points of view.

Diversity Fellows

Diversity Fellows are rising Juniors or Seniors who are selected through an application and interview process. These students are committed to diversity work and are trained on facilitating and leading discussions and programming. As a Diversity Fellow, students are given opportunities to develop leadership skills and to make a difference in their community. The Fellows plan and coordinate the Onee Bergfeld Diversity Chapel. This annual assembly gives the Fellows a platform to share and reflect on their experiences with their peers and invite their community to participate in diversity-centered activities. Other responsibilities include the planning of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. The day consists of presentations from community leaders and current Laurel students followed by service projects. Students attend the annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference (in the 2017-18 school year, it was held in Nashville, Tennessee).

Linked@Laurel Affinity Group for Students of Color
Now in its fifth year, Linked@Laurel, an affinity group that promotes cultural awareness for students of color at Laurel, provides a supportive and welcoming space in which girls spend time with other girls and teachers who share their racial identity. Students discuss and explore books and share stories about their experiences, hobbies, families and cultures. Research suggests such groups are essential for young children in strengthening racial identity when they are in the minority of a school population. Participating in Linked@Laurel is a choice each girl makes for herself with input from her family.

Multicultural Curriculum K-12
At Laurel School, inspiring each girl to fulfill her promise and to better the world requires that we respect and honor the whole-self of each member of our community. We are committed to being a diverse school community that is enriched by the wide variety of experiences and perspectives of all constituencies—students, faculty, parents/guardians and staff. Laurel School’s commitment to a multicultural curriculum is present in every aspect of the School’s life. In Laurel’s classrooms, multicultural  teaching incorporates the histories, texts, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds. By understanding in Kindergarten that the world is global and includes all people, girls learn from the beginning of their time at Laurel School to respect and embrace multiculturalism.

Equity and Inclusion Student Groups

American Sign Language (ASL) Club
The ASL Club strives to learn about this language and increase its vocabulary in order to reach one’s individual goal for the year. In ASL club, members learn from an online class that helps with manual pronunciations of words and builds a strong vocabulary in this language. Club members value practicing with other members as to be immersed in ASL and work on reading what other people are saying. The combination of live practice and the website makes it easier for club members to learn and increase effectivity.This is a club for both people who are interested in starting ASL (beginners) or someone who already knows ASL (intermediate) but wants more practice or wants to be more advanced. This club will be at a comfortable pace or a pace self set.

Asian Culture Society
This club educates students about Asian culture and introduce people to different customs, foods, and activities native to Asia. During meetings, the club tries different types of Asian cuisine, watch foreign movies and TV shows, and learn about Asian culture in different Asian countries.

Black Student Union (BSU)
BSU is a club that promotes discussion and dialogue between ALL students at Laurel. We hope to create a safe space for all Persons of Color (POC) and to discuss nationwide current events, historical events, and any contemporary issues within our school regarding the black community. The club aims to meet 6-8 times per year.

Facing History and Ourselves
The Facing History and Ourselves club is a student organization that is a liaison between Laurel and the larger Facing History and Ourselves organization. The mission of FHAO is to think critically about the past to better understand the present and strive for a better future. At our meetings, club members discuss current and past events and the connections between them as well as think of ways to make the world a better place. Additionally the club hosts and attends FHAO events around the Cleveland area, and work to make FHAO a more visible organization in the Middle and Upper School.

Feminist Society
The Feminist Society is an inclusive club where students can discuss issues related to gender with their peers, without fear of judgement. The club meets regularly, and discusses topics related to equality across the gender spectrum. This club aims to broaden people’s beliefs as to what it means to be a feminist, and create a welcoming, productive environment for Laurel students to express their beliefs.

Girl Up Club
Girl Up is a pre-existing organization paired with the United Nations that is dedicated to empowering young females across the globe, while simultaneously providing fundraising for young female refugees without an access to education. The organization has set specific expectations and activities to complete throughout the year in individual clubs. Hundreds of Girl Up clubs are stationed across the country. Laurel’s mission correlates perfectly with Girl Up's goals, to educate and empower young females.

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
GSA is a club that is dedicated to raising awareness about LGBT+ issues. The club is a resource to help support LGBT+ members of the Laurel community and help educate the Upper School as a whole.

International Club
International Club is for Middle School girls who are interested in global cultures, ideas and lifestyles. In addition, it is a place where girls can share their international experiences or their family's experiences. They learn about what life is like looking through a lens other than their own.

International Food Club
International Food Club explores the cuisine of various cultures around the globe. Featured cuisines are chosen via lottery at the beginning of the school year and the club members learn about the culture of the chosen culture and cook popular dishes from said culture. Materials for the club activities are purchased via a fundraiser. At the end of the school year the club members organize a presentation to share various international foods.

Israeli Culture Club
Israeli Culture Club works to educate students on Israeli culture, current events happening in Israel, and the diversity of culture within Israel. The club welcomes people of all religions, backgrounds, or Middle-East conflict opinions, and values any ideas brought to discussion. The club educates about these ideas by doing fun activities, eating delicious food, and more. The club hopes to spread its love of Israel by engaging Laurel peers.

Laurel Political Review
Laurel’s official domestic, foreign, and social justice magazine, designed to allow Laurel students to express opinions about key political and social issues that they often don’t have time to talk about in depth.
Members can express concern about America’s healthcare, criticize or applaud an aspect of US foreign policy, delve into major social divides, or provide summaries of current events. During meetings the club discusses an array of current events, debate political and social divides and write pieces.

Lebanese Culture Club
This club educates others on Lebanese culture, and shares some Lebanese cuisine. Club members discuss the politics, religion, and lifestyle of the Lebanese culture in depth. Videos of popular music and dances performed at traditional Lebanese weddings and events are played. The club organizers plan to bring in a professional Lebanese dancer and have her/him teach some of the traditional dances performed at events. 

Equity and Inclusion Parent Groups

Parent-to-Parent Groups provide support, networking and information for Laurel parents/guardians and families. 

Parents of Children with Learning Differences
Facilitated by Ilissa Pearlman

Families Formed through Adoption
Facilitated by Dr. Lisa Damour

Equity and Inclusion Resources

Laurel School Learning Enhancement
Learn more about how Laurel supports girls with learning differences.

Diversity Center of Northeastern Ohio
A human relations organization dedicated to eliminating bias, bigotry and racism through professional development and youth programs and outreach.

Anti-Defamation League
A civil rights/human relations organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defending democratic ideals and protecting civil rights for all. The organization provides programming and professional development opportunities for educators, business personnel and students.

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Museum of Diversity and Tolerance
The mission of the Maltz Museum is to promote and understanding of Jewish history, religion and culture and build bridges of appreciation, tolerance and understanding with those of other religions, races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds, and to serve as an educational resource for Northeast Ohio’s Jewish and general communities. ?

Teaching Tolerance
A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center with thought-provoking news, conversation and support for those who care about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for difference in schools.

Laurel’s Collaboration with Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves is an international organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of identity and history in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. In 2014, Laurel became one of over 40 institutions, and the only Cleveland Counsel of Independent Schools (CCIS) school, that make up the Facing History Innovative Schools Network.

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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