Alumnae Calendar

The News-Herald recently highlighted Jami Morris '21 and her impressive third place finish at this year's Drive, Chip & Putt (DCP) National Finals, which took place on April 1 at the Augusta National Golf Club. Jami competed in the girls 14-15 age division and finished with the best drive of the group, which earned her ten points. She scored an eight in the chip competition and a four in putting. Jami made it through three stages of qualifying to get to Nationals and won her division at the regional at Jack Nicklaus' Muirfield Vollage Golf Club in Dublin, OH. See additional coverage highlighting Jami in Northeast Ohio Golf Online and Cleveland.com.  

 

In March Morgan Goldstein '18 authored a piece in Crain's Cleveland Business where she highlighted how planning, passion and dedication are critical for anyone looking to start a business. Morgan has been a chef for years and started on a professional path from a young age, appearing on the Food Network's "Chopped" in both 2015 and 2016. She is now the chef and founder of MHG Catering and is currently writing and publishing her own cookbook. Morgan is also a member of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum. You can read the full story in Crain's here.

Laurel's Director of College Guidance Missy Rose was recently featured in a Cleveland Magazine story titled, "How to Find the Right College for Your High Schooler." In the piece Missy highlights the financial aspect of selecting a college, stating "Don't wait until your child is accepted to her dream college and it's April of her senior year and you say, 'We can't afford this.' The earlier families talk money, the better." She goes on to suggest parents "Have the conversation with your child upfront. There needs to be schools on the list that are highly likely for affordability — and that can be overlooked.” 

In the piece, Missy also discusses how your children are watching. Laurel's Center for Research on Girls conducted a study that showed when parents’ expectations are significantly higher than girls’ expectations for themselves, "self-esteem plummets," she points out. "They are watching for signs of approval or disapproval, and that could mean a raised eyebrow, crossed arms, a tone of voice," she is quoted saying. "Most kids want to please their parents, and if they get a sense that certain schools are not OK, it’s tough for them to deal with."

Missy also discusses the importance of stopping at ten applications. "It’s a lot of work to apply to colleges. It takes a lot of time. They need to balance the application process with their courses, their extracurricular activities and for some families, the cost."

Congratulations to the Grade Five, Six and Seven girls who competed in the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCCTM) math competition at John Carroll University and at Hawken School this year. The tournament recognizes interest and perseverance in math outside the classroom, encouraging students to challenge their problem-solving skills in a competitive team format.

Of the three trophies available Laurel teams took all three! Congratulations to all the girls for their hard work and positive outcomes.  

5th Grade: (Trophy)
  • Clare H.
  • Sydney M.
  • Jazmin R.
  • Ella W.
5th Grade: (Trophy)
  • Gianna M.
  • Katie I.
  • Eve B.
  • Kelly K.
6th Grade: (Trophy)
  • Kaitlin E.
  • Amelia G.
  • Lexi C.
  • Karma A. 
6th Grade: (Blue Ribbon)
  • Riley O.
  • Grace G.
  • Kate T.
  • Shaliz B.
Grade Seven: (Red Ribbon)
  • Krista C.
  • Veda P.
  • Maria P.

Congratulations to Celeste Bohan '19, Emi Cummings '20, Janaan Qutubuddin '20, and Daania Tahir '19, whose award-winning art and writing won accolades in this year's regional Scholastic Art & Writing Competition, and went on to receive Silver Medals in the National Competition. This year, students submitted more than 330,000 works of visual art and writing to the Scholastic Awards; more than 90,000 works were recognized at the regional level and celebrated in local exhibitions and ceremonies. The top art and writing at the regional level were moved onto the national stage, where more than 2,700 works earned National Medals. Congratulations to our students on their amazing achievements. The girls will be celebrated at the National Ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The names of the winning art and writing follow below.

  • Celeste Bohan "Reflections" photo
  • Emi Cummings "Growing up with Purseblog" personal essay/memoir
  • Janaan Qutubuddin "My Missing" poetry
  • Daania Tahir "Letter to America" personal essay/memoir

In her latest New York Times Well Adolescence columnLisa Damour, Ph.D., Executive Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, hones in on why demonstrating is good for kids. A new research report published in January in the journal Child Development, found that late adolescents and young adults who voted, volunteered or engaged in activism ultimately went further in school and had higher incomes than those who did not mobilize for political or social change. The study found that civic activity linked to better academic and financial outcomes regardless of early school performance and parental education levels, two factors that usually drive later success. In the article Lisa states that "The research is especially timely as American students consider whether to participate in the National School Walkout planned for Wednesday, March 14."

She goes on to say that "Taking part in a single event may not, by itself, alter the trajectory of an adolescent's development. But the study's authors suggest that positive, lasting outcomes may result if organized civic engagement helps young people galvanize their belief in their personal efficacy, connect to empowering social networks or cultivate professional skills."

Lisa also appeared on CBS Morning News to discuss the same topic. Click here to view her interview.

Laurel Primary science teacher Abbie Bole and her science class was recently featured on Channel 5 for their STEAM work through an innovative program called Level Up Village. The program allows Laurel students to work with student partners in another country to together, design a solution to a global problem. This year Laurel girls are working with partners in Zimbabwe to develop a light box using Tinkercad software and a 3D printer that can provide electricity to those without access. Channel 5 saw the students in action recording videos to communicate with their partners and using tinkering software to design their light boxes. The class also practiced printing their designs on two 3D printers. Click here to watch the full story.
In her February New York Times Well Adolescence columnLisa Damour, Ph.D., Executive Director of Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, addresses how to approach the topic of vaping with teenagers. In her column, Lisa suggests “Instead of leading with facts, consider starting with genuine curiosity. Setting judgement to the side, ask, ‘What’s your take on e-cigarettes?’ or ‘Do you know kids who are vaping?’ or something along those lines.” Lisa states that “asking teenagers what they know about any topic increases the odds that they’ll want to hear what we now about that topic, too.” Lisa goes on to suggest that when talking to teens about vaping, you ask why before suggesting why not. Share your concerns and finally, concede the limits of your power. “Articulate high expectations in one breath and acknowledge the limits of power in the next.”

Lisa was also recently featured on CBS News to discuss the perceived link between gun violence and mental illness.

Laurel's Headmistress, Ann V. Klotz, had the opportunity to sit down with Sue Reid from Currents magazine in January to share the story of how she came to Laurel and her vision for the school and its students. "At Laurel, Ms. Klotz, the School's 10th head of school, is her 'authentic self,' she described, and proudly commits to cultivating leadership in women on a daily basis." The story goes on to highlight Ann's time spent as a student at the all-girls Agnes Irwin School in Rosemont, PA and then onto Yale University and later, New York University. She also highlights her early career in different positions at Chapin School, an all-girls independent day school in Manhattan, where she worked as an English teacher, head of the drama department and director of guidance. It was there that her now late mentor Mildred Berendsen urged her to consider working as a head of school. It was that guidance that ultimately led her to Laurel.

"Her charge at the time of hire, she explained, was to get an academic vision for the school's Butler Campus as well as increase Laurel's attention to social and emotional development of girls in addition to academics. To that end, Ms. Klotz worked to found Laurel's Center for Research on Girls, which now serves as a national model."

The article goes on to highlight Ann's passion for theater, her love for teaching and her typical day. Under Ann's leadership, "Laurel is a place where girls practice developing confidence, their voice, smarts, respect and empathy and understand how to value multiple points of view."

Click here to read the full article.

The Cleveland Jewish News recently spoke to Daniel McGee, Director of Technology and Library Services at Laurel School, to discuss how technology is evolving and being used in the classroom. As the world becomes more digital-oriented, schools are finding ways to integrate technology into the classroom and Laurel is no exception. Daniel is quoted in the article saying "because technology is ever-changing, education is developing along with it. Tech is changing the world and that is something we have to be on top of here to serve our students,” he said. “Technology is embedded in the classroom and the students need the skills to function in a world that we can’t even imagine yet. We don’t know what life will be like. These are foundational skills that will help them be creative and communicate with whoever they encounter.”

Though some people view technology as an “extra” in the classroom, Daniel commented that it’s an old-school view of learning. “Kids don’t see it as something extra or separate, their lives are full of tech and bringing it into the classroom ties it to real life,” he said. “It’s impacting in ways you wouldn’t see. It’s everywhere. For example, we have a few programs where first graders do blogging that develops their writing skills, but also puts their words to a larger audience. They’re learning to share with the world in a safe way.”

Click here to read the full article.

  • April 2018
    • TueApr24 Senior Parent Breakfast 8:00 AM
    • ThuApr26 MS Homework-Free Weekend
    • ThuApr26 US Spring Concert 7:00 PMLyman
    • FriApr27 Speech and Debate Year-End Celebration 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    • SatApr28 ISEE Testing for Prospective Students
  • May 2018
    • WedMay02 MS Parents "Looking Ahead" 6:30 PM
    • ThuMay03 Capstone Year-End Banquet 6:30 PMLyman
    • FriMay04 All-School Assembly (Formal Uniform) Lyman: Tippit Gymnasium
    • SatMay05 LSPA Used School and PE Uniform Sale 8:00 AM to 11:00 AMLyman: Alumnae Room
    • MonMay07 AP Exams
    • MonMay07 Fifth Grade Green Gator City Butler
    • TueMay08 AP Exams
    • TueMay08 Fifth Grade Green Gator City Butler
    • WedMay09 AP Exams

Alumnae Spotlight

alumnae spotlight banner

Alumnae Spotlight showcases amazing Laurel women and the paths they have charted since graduation. Whether they are doctors, designers, artists, authors, scientists, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, engineers, pharmacists, or civic activists or volunteers, Laurel women inhabit nearly all careers and corners of the world helping to make it a better place. Our alumnae and the journeys that they have taken speak to the essence of a Laurel education and what makes this School and the community of women who call it their own distinctive. This space highlights their fascinating lives and the mountains they continue to move.

If you would like to be featured in our Alumnae Spotlight, or know of an alumna who might, please email Megan Findling.

April 2018 Alumnae Spotlight

Therese Claxton Fleisher ’03

 

image of Therese Claxton Fleisher '03From her office at Boston Children’s Hospital, Therese Claxton Fleisher ’03, Global Health Program Coordinator and manager of the Liberian Pediatric Residency Program, works to save lives halfway across the world. The Pediatric Residency Program was developed by the World Bank, Ministry of Health and Dr. Michelle Niescierenko after civil wars and an Ebola outbreak left the African nation with only two working pediatricians for its 1.3 million children. Today, Therese is involved in every aspect of the day-to-day operations of training the next generation of Liberian pediatricians. Her passion for healthcare access developed during her time in the Peace Corps, where she worked with a South African organization that supported those affected by HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. She then went on to earn a Master of Public Health at Boston University and now works to help rebuild the Liberian healthcare system. Therese truly epitomizes Laurel’s call to “better the world.”

Can you tell us about your favorite memory from your time at Laurel?

My favorite memories at Laurel were working on the yearbook, hanging out in the Junior homeroom with friends, and spending long hours in the photography lab.

What are the hallmarks of a Laurel education?

For me, it was learning how to think critically and to challenge convention when I was presented with something I didn't agree with or wanted to learn more about.

You studied political science and government at Clark University in Massachusetts. What drew you to Clark? Do you have any advice for current Laurel students applying to college?

I found Clark through my wonderful college counselor Joan Pfeiffer who knew I was interested in going to a small school on the East Coast. I was drawn to Clark by its overall philosophy of making positive change in our world and the liberal student body that shared my values. At that time, I was in Claudia Boatright's course on the Middle East Peace Process and the Irish Troubles. So I was focused on an education that would help me build skills to make change in the greater world. When looking at schools I think it's most important to find a place where you feel comfortable (size and community-wise) and that has lots of opportunities to try things out of your comfort zone. I would encourage Laurel girls to find a place that fits their interests and personality and to not be too concerned if they don't exactly know what they want to study in college-finding a place with a strong liberal arts program is really helpful in discovering your passion.

After college, you served 27 months with the Peace Corps in South Africa. Can you tell us about your experience living abroad and working with organizations combating the HIV/AIDS virus?

My time in the Peace Corps was the most rewarding and challenging of my life. I was lucky that I was placed in South Africa because I had studied abroad in Namibia and was passionate about improving the public health response to HIV/AIDS. I worked and lived in a rural village in the KwaZulu Natal Province and worked in a local organization that's mission is to support those infected with and affected by HIV, AIDS, and Tuberculosis. I joined the Peace Corps directly out of college and learned so much about working in a non-governmental organization (NGO), how public health programming and campaigns operated, and the nitty gritty of running a program like this. The most valuable part of my experience, however, was getting the opportunity to live in a village with my host family, friends, and coworkers and truly become a community member instead of an outsider. It was an experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.

What prompted your return to school to earn an MPH from Boston University in 2013?

I became interested in getting an MPH while I was a Peace Corps Volunteer. I saw the type of work and job that I wanted and realized that I wouldn't be qualified for it without the advanced degree. While I had learned so much from the on-the-job training aspect of the Peace Corps, I wanted a formal education that would help me utilize those skills in the future. I chose Boston because I loved the city and the program was promising.

Congrats on your new job! After managing a community health clinic for three years, you recently accepted a position as Program Coordinator in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Global Health Program. Your current focus is on managing a pediatric residency program in Liberia—can you share a little about your work?

I manage the Liberian Pediatric Residency Program. In order to understand the program's work, it is important to understand Liberia's history. Liberia's civil wars from 1989-2003 had a drastic effect on the health care system. As a result of this conflict, 90% of the country's health workforce fled the country and 80% of the healthcare facilities were rendered inoperable. During reconstruction in 2014 Ebola struck, killing an additional 8% of healthcare workers. Before the residency program, Liberia had two working Pediatricians for the approximately 1.3 million children in the country. We are now working with the Ministry of Health, Liberian College of Physicians and Surgeons, and World Bank to create Liberia's first Residency Program to train the next generation of Liberian Pediatricians. Our goal is to run this program within the West African context-while sharing the expertise of both Boston Children's and West African pediatricians. I run the day-to-day operations of the program, meaning that I am involved in every aspect that goes into training 12 Liberian Pediatric Residents, other than teaching them. I manage the program from Boston, as it requires a great deal of logistical maneuvering from both Liberia and the US. This includes everything from hiring specialists to paying bills to managing the monitoring and evaluation program to prove that our program is improving the system and is worth the Liberian government making a permanent funding commitment to the program for its sustainability.

How difficult is it to coordinate a program from a different continent? What skills are required to be successful project manager?

It is definitely hard to manage a program with a five-hour time difference. However, my position exists to provide the infrastructure for the professors to teach without obstacles, which can be done at any time of day. I would say the most important skill to have as a project manager is to be able to meet people where they are-especially in this program. I am working with people from different backgrounds, experiences, skill levels, and expectations-so I need to change my approach with each and every person. Being patient and able to roll with the punches is so important. Without that you would easily get frustrated and overwhelmed. I traveled to Liberia in February and will most likely go back a few times over the life of the project. It was a fantastic opportunity and I enjoy getting to work in person with my colleagues in the hospital where the residency is based.

Are there any other projects you are working on?

I also manage the Global Health Fellowship Program, Pediatric Skills Week CME course, grants programs and other emerging programs. Since we are a small team of three, I get to work on every aspect of the program-development, management and even marketing and fundraising, so every day is different, which I love. Personally, I am currently working on raising Nolan (1) and Charlotte (3), who take up lots of my spare time. I also am trying to reinvigorate my creative side, which can be hard to do when you are busy with kids. My current love is contemporary embroidery. This fall we are planning on doing lots of work for candidates in running for the House and Senate in neighboring New Hampshire.

How do you think your time at Laurel influenced the years since graduation?

Laurel really taught me how to think critically and not take information at face value. Laurel affected the trajectory of my career as it opened my eyes to life in developing nations and taught me that with hard work and commitment I would be able to do what I wanted when I was an adult.

Outside of work, how would you spend your ideal vacation day?

Honestly, with two small children, my ideal vacation day is one just doing general adult things without them with me-like sleeping in, catching a movie, dinner, and maybe going to a bookstore. I do love to travel internationally and my ideal vacation would be hanging out with my husband in Kenya, where we were lucky enough to go on our honeymoon.

Thanks Therese!!

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. 

 

Middle and Upper School
Open House

Saturday, April 21, 2018
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Lyman Campus

More information and RSVP here

 


"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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