All-School Calendar

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.

According to the Cleveland Jewish News, "Advancements in technology have made their way into the classroom and influence the way students learn."

Daniel McGee, Laurel's director of technology and library services, was recently interviewed for a piece focused on technology in the classroom and how its use affects how students learn. In the story Daniel agreed that technology’s influence is largely for the better. "Technology is kind of boundless, it has no boundaries, so it can be used for any discipline. It allows you to do something transformative and it allows you to find ways to express yourself in unique ways that you wouldn’t be able to do without using those tools."

Daniel also touched on Laurel's one-to-one laptop program where a laptop is provided to each student and the use of G Suite so students and teachers can utilize Google apps, such as Docs, Sheets and Classroom to engage with the learning material. 3D printers are also incorporated into the curriculum at Laurel.

Click here to read the full story.

Laurel's Capstone Experience was recently featured in Currents Magazine. Capstone, a three-and-a-half-year program that promotes research, mentorship, peer collaboration and relationships, internships, leadership and peer travel, had 86 Upper School students participate during the 2017/2018 school year. What makes the Capstone Experience unique is its focus on students' drive and interest in participating in something extracurricular versus their transcripts. If accepted, girls participate in group projects and collaborative seminars through the end of Grade Ten and then go on to choose an area of inquiry that falls under one of four lenses: Civic Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Global Studies, or STEAM. 

The Currents piece highlights Morgan Goldstein '18 who, as part of her Capstone Experience, authored a cookbook where adolescents are the intended audience. Morgan worked closely with her project mentor Steve Trattner, who has worked with many notable chefs on their own cookbooks, to make her dream become a reality. The article highlights another former Capstone student, Maddy Massey '18, who chose the STEAM lens for her research and comprised a seven-song album. To achieve this, Maddy worked with her mentor, local singer/songwriter Jennifer Chittester, who played at LaureLive in 2016. 

Trey Wilson, Laurel's Director of Strategic Partnerships, was interviewed for this story. Click here to read the full piece.

In her latest New York Times Well Adolescence column, Dr. Lisa Damour, Executive Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, focuses on consent and what it truly means to want to engage in a sexual behavior. In her column, Lisa states that, "So long as discussions of consent crowd out discussions of basic interpersonal sensitivity, we should not be surprised by reports of young men who (more often than the other way around) badger young women for sexual favors. It may be legal to wear someone down, but doing so is not the basis for healthy relationships between any two people, be they of the opposite or same sex."

"And so long as we normalize mere consent as an acceptable standard for sexual engagement, it will remain commonplace for young women (and sometimes, young men) to harbor feelings of confusion and regret after participating in sexual activity for which they technically gave consent, but only when pressured."

She goes on to highlight that, "Sexual encounters ought to be pleasurable, mutual endeavors. They should advance as partners earnestly and happily agree, not because one party merely grants permission to the other. Too often, our advice to young people trains their attention on consent, the lowest possible bar for lawful sexual activity. We routinely spell out precisely what does, and doesn’t, constitute acquiescence but say little or nothing about tuning in to one’s partner’s desires. To put a very fine point on it, we essentially communicate, 'When it comes to your sex life, don’t assault or rape anyone.'"

Dr. Tori Cordiano, a clinical psychologist and Research Director for Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, served as the expert in a recent Your Teen Magazine Q&A about how parents can communicate with their teen about dating and issues that can arise.

In the piece Dr. Cordiano states that, "Though it can be tough to think about teenage relationships, dating during adolescence serves as good practice for future relationships and allows teens to consider what qualities matter to them in a relationship. One key to navigating this issue is frequent, open-ended conversations with your daughter or son. If your teenager is like most, he will balk at the idea of discussing his dating life with you, but don’t let that stop you from jumping on the chance to discuss the topic with him when you can. And expect to have numerous conversations—your son may be more open to talking about it if he knows it will be brief and low-key and that he doesn’t have to settle in for a lecture."

Click here to read the full piece.

In May a reporter from Quartz at Work, a global business news organization owned by The Atlanticvisited Laurel's Butler Campus to observe students in Grades Three through Seven who are part of the school's Adventure Girls program as they participated in their long awaited overnight, representing the culmination of a year of adventures together. The article states that "While this may sound like a run-of-the-mill after-school program or summer camp, there’s an element that sets it apart: Adventure Girls is borne out of research on how girls can build resilience. The program aims to create stress-inducing situations and equip young girls with the tools to get through them. Girls get started young so that they’ll be prepared to handle the pressures of high school, college, and life beyond."

Adventure Girl leaders Shannon Lukz and Chuck Allen are both highlighted in the story, as is Dr. Lisa Damour, Executive Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, who highlights the research initiative Laurel has embarked on in the last eight years to examine the relationship girls have with stress and how to build resilience—the ability to adapt well to adversity. 

The article states that "The research findings that Damour uncovered have been crucial for the framework that underpins Adventure Girls and the broader culture at Laurel School. This framework outlines five elements of resilience: creativity, purpose, growth-mindset, relationships, and self-care. Adventure Girls learn these tools in a variety of ways, often through more subtle cues, including the way the adults structure activities and discussions before and after."

The Adventure Girls program is year-round, and meets 12 times each semester. Girls take two to three field trips that involve adventurous activities like kayaking, climbing, or snowshoeing. The program works hard to get parents and teachers on the same page to work toward the same goal—fostering language and behaviors that teach these girls how to handle adversity.

Click here to read the full story.

  • October 2018
    • WedOct17 Grade 4 Power and Purpose Butler
    • ThuOct18 Grade 4 Power and Purpose Butler
    • ThuOct18 Grades 10 and 11 Class Trips
    • FriOct19 Grade 4 Power and Purpose Butler
    • FriOct19 Grades 10 and 11 Class Trips
    • SatOct20 Fall Festival 6:00 PM to 9:00 PMButler
    • MonOct22 Grade 4 Power and Purpose Butler
    • MonOct22 Middle School Swimming Begins
    • MonOct22 Middle School Swimming Parent Meeting 6:30 PMLower University School
    • TueOct23 Grade 4 Power and Purpose Butler
    • TueOct23 Grades 7 and 8 Advisory Parent Breakfast 8:00 AM to 8:30 AMLyman
    • TueOct23 Grades 7 and 8 Parent Coffee 8:30 AM to 9:15 AMLyman
    • WedOct24 Grade 4 Power and Purpose Butler
    • WedOct24 Upper School Basketball and Swimming Parent Meeting 6:00 PM to 7:30 PMLyman

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. 


Open House

Saturday, October 27, 2018
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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