Alumnae Calendar

  • May 2018
    • ThuMay17 Distinguished Alumnae Dinner 6:15 PM
    • SatMay19 Alumnae Luncheon 11:30 AMLyman

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.

Laurel School, as part of a national initiative by Fair Trade Campaigns to engage K – 12 students in issues of global poverty, is proud to announce its official designation as a Fair Trade School. Fair Trade is an economic system that ensures consumers the products they buy were grown, harvested, crafted and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment. Fair Trade Campaigns officially recognizes schools in the U.S. committed to educating students about the issues of Fair Trade and sourcing Fair Trade products like coffee, tea and bananas in the cafeteria, offices and at events.

Started by Margaret O’Neill '19, Laurel Fair Trade hopes to educate the Laurel Community about the various social injustices many under-developed countries face on a daily basis. Helping to learn and support Fair Trade will shine a light on the need for a safer, more just work environment leading to a more sustainable way of life. We hope to use funds that we earn towards investing in organizations and or individuals who aspire to better themselves and the world.

Laurel is the 31st Fair Trade School in the U.S., and the 7th in the state of Ohio to earn this designation. highlighted the recent work of more than 100 Laurel students and community members who participated in the school's 8th Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service. In all, volunteers made 16 tie blankets and more than 145 toiletry-stuffed socks, which will be donated to the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. In addition, volunteers assembled Hope Tote Bags for The City Mission. Click here to view the story.

Thanks to all who came out for this important day of service.

Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz was recently published in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) blog where she highlights 14 of her top interview etiquette tips. She starts the blog by stating that "January is the time when I, head of Laurel School (OH), feel like Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. With one face, I focus intently on the remaining six months of the current school year. With the other, my thoughts turn to the complex jigsaw that is staffing." As the school year marches on Ann and her team "Calculate enrollment and next year’s number of sections. We think about who might be ready for a change, and what new staff and faculty we might have the opportunity to bring into our school. Hiring is an exhilarating and exhausting undertaking."

Her interview etiquette tips range from the seemingly simple task of ensuring you submit a resume and cover letter without errors to arriving to an interview early because "If you’re not five minutes early, you’re late." Among other tips, Ann also highlights how being curious and asking lots of questions can set you apart.

To read all her interview etiquette tips click here.

Laurel swimmers continue on their winning streak this season after winning (125-50) the West Geauga Dual Meet on January 4. Laurel won 10 of 11 swimming events and went 1-2-3 in the 200 free as Rose Pophal '19, Rylee Betchkal '18 and Kali McLin '21 swept top spots. Laurel also went 1-2-3 in the 100 breast, with Bella Barragate '21, Rylee B. and Elizabeth Thompson '20 taking top honors. Laurel relays went 1-2 in all three relay events.

This stellar performance was followed by the Perry Invitational on January 21 where Laurel swimmers placed second out of 10 teams and won a total of five events. Morgan Miklus ‘19 was a double event winner in the 100 free and 100 back. Bella B. won the 100 breast and was runner-up in the 200 IM. Katherine Hagen ‘18 won the 200 free and earned third in the 500 free. Rose P. came in third in 200 free. Linzy Malcolm ‘20 earned third in 50 free. Our relay events also dominated when the 200 free relay of Morgan M., Bella B., Katherine H. and Linzy M. won in a speedy 1:47:75 and the 200 medley relay of Morgan M., Kali M., Bella B., and Linzy M. earned runner-up status in a very fast 1:55.93, the fastest time ever by Laurel swimmers in non-tech suits. In all Laurel swimmers had 11 best times and dropped a total of 17 seconds.

Congratulations to all the girls on these achievements!

Classic in the Country (CitC), one of the nation's most highly acclaimed girls basketball showcases, took place over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend January 13-15 and this year the Laurel Gators were invited to participate. Despite prepping for a January 13 game against Kenston, coach Tim McMahon received a last minute invitation to play in CitC when another team backed out. Despite the change in plans and a hasty bus ride to Berlin ahead of expected bad weather, the Gators dominated! Going into CitC the Gators were feeling strong with an 11-0 record and were slated to play Youngstown Ursuline. covered the game and reported  that "The Gators came in and put a hurt on Ursuline, grinding out an impressive 55-36 win that was led by freshmen twins Haley and Taylor Thierry and sophomore Giuliana Marinozzi. The Gators played extremely well."

Coach McMahon was quoted in the story saying, "It was everything we could have hoped for. It’s hard to appreciate the scale of this event until you actually get here. Our girls were a little unsure with the change of plans and the bus ride and with that weather coming in, but then we walked in, and there are all of these fans and the music, and they take care of you so unbelievably well. I just want our kids and our coaching staff to soak this experience in as much as possible. I am so thrilled that we had this opportunity to experience this.”

Click here to read the full story. 


The Cleveland Institute of Art recently announced the 2017 winners of its Scholastic Art & Writing Competition and 24 Laurel students received accolades. Each year, the Alliance partners with more than 100 visual arts and literary arts organizations across the country to bring the Scholastic Awards to local communities. Open to students in Grades 7-12, applicants can submit in 29 different categories of art and writing.

In 2017, students submitted more than 330,000 works of art and writing. Panelists look for works that best exemplify originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision. Students receiving Gold Keys, Silver Keys, Honorable Mentions, or American Visions & Voices Nominations are celebrated within their communities through local exhibitions and ceremonies.

The Chagrin-Solon Sun, Sun Press, and Sun Messenger all highlighted local winners in their coverage. Congratulations to the following Laurel students who won.  


Gold Keys:

  • Celeste Bohan '19, Photography
  • Madison Cope '18, Photography
  • Zoe Halpern '18, Mixed Media
  • Caroline Megerian '18, Photography
  • Tristan Whitt '19, Jewelry

Silver Keys:

  • Caroline Abbey '19, Photography
  • Celeste Bohan '19, Photography
  • Zoe Halpern '18, Drawing & Illustration
  • Audrey King '18, Photography
  • Bridget Napoli '18, Digital Art
  • Elizabeth Rivera '21, Ceramics & Glass 
  • Henley Schulz '18, Photography

Honorable Mentions:

  • Julia Bowman '21, Jewelry
  • Lily Chapman '19, Jewelry
  • Madison Cope '18, Photography
  • Phoebe Hatch '19, Photography
  • Abigail Knetig '20, Mixed Media
  • Dahlia Kost '19, Mixed Media
  • Melanie Nance '19, Sculpture
  • Caroline Vlastaris '18, Jewelry


Gold Keys:

  • Emi Cummings ’20, two Gold Keys for Poetry & Personal Essay/Memoir
  • Nadia Ibrahim ’21, Short Story
  • Janaan Qutubuddin ’20, Poetry
  • Dannia Tahir ’19, Personal Essay/Memoir

Silver Key:

  • Jane Jusko ’21, Short Story

Honorable Mention:

  • Margot Luria ’20, Flash Fiction
As a follow up to her Cleveland Magazine feature as one the magazine's most interesting people in 2015, Morgan Goldstein ’18 was highlighted in a “Where-Are-They-Now” story (hint: for much of the last two years she was interning and working as a prep cook at Jonathan Sawyer's restaurant Trentina)! Currently, Morgan is setting her sights on college where she hopes to major in food science. In the article she states that her dream job is to lead a recipe test kitchen. She says her "ultimate goal is to develop a crop that would help end world hunger,” she says. “Something along the lines of a sustainable food that would help developing countries." She also discusses her partnership with a local food writer to develop a cookbook of her own recipes. Click here for the full story.

The 2018 LaureLive lineup was announced in December and the Chagrin Valley Times took this opportunity to highlight how Laurel students will once again be working to help produce this year's event, which will take place June 9 and 10 at Laurel's Butler Campus. Laurel Headmistress Ann V. Klotz was quoted in the story saying "The commitment our students have shown to making this annual festival a success has been contagious. Our students look forward to spending the next six months working with Elevation Group to help execute what we know will be another successful, family friendly event for our school and our community."

Trey Wilson, director of strategic partnerships at Laurel, was also included in the piece highlighting the opportunity as a great learning experience for the students. In addition to working and specific planning for the event, there is also a class where various professionals are brought in to engage with the students. In the past, for example, a lawyer visited with students to discuss the operations of contracts. The students also met with a local radio station and Skyped with a few bands performing at the festival. "The girls have been given different lenses to see what it's like to plan and be a part of a music event like this, and Elevation Group also regularly incorporates many of the girls' ideas and feedback," said Mr. Wilson. 

Click here to read the story in full. 


  • February 2018
    • TueFeb27 US Parent Coffee 8:15 AMLyman
  • March 2018
    • ThuMar01 Coffee with Klotz for Accepted Families Pre-Primary and Primary 8:30 AM to 9:30 AMLyman
    • ThuMar01 US Musical: "The Drowsy Chaperone" 7:00 PMLyman, Chapel
    • FriMar02 US Musical: "The Drowsy Chaperone" 7:00 PMLyman, Chapel
    • SatMar03 US Musical: "The Drowsy Chaperone" 7:00 PMLyman, Chapel
    • MonMar05 Grades 10 & 11 Class Trips
    • MonMar05 MS Spring Sports Begin
    • MonMar05 US Track Practice Begins
    • MonMar05 MS Spring Sports Parent Meeting 5:15 PMLyman
    • MonMar05 US Track Parent Meeting 6:00 PMLyman
    • TueMar06 Grades 10 & 11 Class Trips
    • FriMar09 No Classes for Pre-Primary & Primary (Parent Conferences)

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.

February 2018 Alumnae Spotlight

Jennifer Beeson Gregory ’88 and Michael Chandler ’94


“I like having someone close by who has shared some of my experiences and knows what it’s like to be a Laurel girl,” says Jennifer Beeson Gregory ’88 of working with Michael Chandler ’94. The proud Green Team members work together at The Washington Post, where Michael is a reporter and Jenny is a photo editor. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree from Mills College before joining the Post in 2005. Jenny, who has worked at the Post for 20 years, is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and holds a master’s degree from George Washington University. This month we chat with them about the changing landscape of the media, the rise of the Internet and the role of reporters in today’s world.

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

Jennifer Beeson Gregory (JBG): I’m not sure I can choose just one. The 1987 trip to the then Soviet Union was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. I also really enjoyed our class trips to Toronto Sophomore year and then to look at colleges Junior year. I have fond memories of Mrs. Schenk leading us through the Senior play, The Skin of Our Teeth, and of Senior pound-down when it felt like we really came together as a class.

Laurel encouraged my curiosity to learn and gave me the courage and confidence to participate in glee club, the CCIS musicals, and yearbook and then to try new things in the years to follow. The support of Laurel’s teachers was (and is) instrumental in laying a solid foundation for the students, as well as providing opportunities for participation and leadership.

Michael Chandler (MC): Summer theater with Rosaneil Schenk, singing show tunes in Middle School choir, acting goofy in the homerooms every year!

What were your interests when you were a student at Laurel? How did you first become curious about journalism/photography?

JBG: I first became curious about photography in Eighth Grade (before coming to Laurel). I inherited some old cameras from my great aunt and joined the photo club to learn how to use them. I was interested in art (including photography), history and Latin at Laurel. At the time I had to choose between AP Art History and Fine Art/Photography classes. Art History won 😊. In grad school, I had a renewed interest in photography when I took a history of photography class which led to studio/darkroom classes.

MC: I definitely enjoyed my English classes and writing. I did not get interested in journalism until after college, when I was trying to find a way to write for a living.

What do you see as the most valuable role of the reporters/photographers in today’s world?

JBG: All journalists are truth-seekers.

MC: Reporters "write the first draft of history,” as the saying goes. The reporters I know take that responsibility very seriously, and we work very hard to be accurate and fair.

How has the changing landscape of the media affected The Washington Post? Has it altered the way you do your jobs? Do you think the new film The Post starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks will have any sort of impact?

JBG: The Washington Post has changed a great deal since I started as an editorial assistant in 1998. So many of the older generation of “typical newspapermen” have left or retired. The newsroom has a lot of young people who have grown up with the Internet. Technology has been the driving force for the changes—it’s become a media company, not just a newspaper. Also, the Graham family’s selling of the paper to Jeff Bezos has led to the Post moving to a new hi-tech space and an increase in staff, which is unusual for newspapers these days. My role as a photo editor has changed immensely over the years. The biggest change is that I edit for all types of platforms, not solely for the print product.

I hope the film The Post has a positive impact. Mrs. Graham and Ben Bradlee were larger-than-life personalities to me and although while watching the movie it was hard to reconcile the characters Streep/Hanks played and the real-life people I knew, I liked the movie’s “we must publish the truth” and “women ARE leaders” messages. The film reminds us of the vital role the press has played in our country’s history. As our new Post t-shirt declares—“Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

MC: I think there is a lot of concern at The Washington Post about the rise of "fake news," both real and perceived. There are so many places on the Internet for people to find news and it seems that readers are increasingly partisan in their news consumption habits.

The approach to the work at The Washington Post has not changed: reporters strive to be skeptical, report facts, double check them and be fair.

It's nice to have a major movie showing the news business in a positive light. The Post illustrated an important piece of history along with the importance of publishing news that’s in the public interest and not in the interests of those who are powerful or personal friends.

With the rise of the Internet, consumers today get their news in a very different way than when you were in school. How have you adapted professionally? What do you see as the future of journalism/photography?

JBG: It’s weird to think that there was no Internet, email or even home computers when I was in high school. If I don’t constantly learn the latest programs and apps I cannot do my job, so the changing ways of communication have provided me with many opportunities for professional and personal growth.

I see the future of photojournalism as an uncertain one. News is everywhere. Access to images of breaking news events is constant. The quality of imagery seems to be becoming less important. There’s a person capturing the scene on his or her phone faster than a photo editor can send a photographer there. Essentially, the nature of photojournalism will have to adapt to these changing conditions.

MC: When I first started working at the Post in 2005, most of the focus was on meeting the needs of the print newspaper, writing stories for a local section, pitching stories for the front page. Now everything we write is for the web, and it's more of an afterthought whether the stories run in print. Some of the fastest growing parts of the newspaper focus on promoting and packaging stories online and creating video or audio content for the web site.

What would you tell a current student interested in pursuing a career in your field? What skills make for a successful journalist/photojournalist and what challenges should they be prepared to face?

JBG: I didn’t set out to become a photo editor; in fact, I planned to become an art curator. Twenty or thirty years ago, one could work at a newspaper without going to school for journalism. In fact, my first boss was a lawyer by training. That’s not the case these days. Go to school, get an advanced degree in photojournalism if you can.

Being a photojournalist means not only being creative and having a good eye, but also being very organized. You also need good people skills. Without them, you won’t likely get access to or be trusted to photograph difficult or challenging subjects. Be prepared to go to war-torn countries. Be prepared to separate yourself from heart-breaking events unfolding before you.
If you would like to be specifically a photo editor, you will need the same foundation as a photojournalist, though your war-torn country might be a newsroom!

MC: There are lots of opportunities in journalism. You will get a job! It probably won't pay well. Be flexible. Be curious. Be brave enough take risks and do hard stories that at first you may find intimidating.

What is it like to work with another Laurel alum?

JBG: I remember Michael as an extra in Oklahoma!, which was the spring musical at Laurel in 1988. She was about 12 years old. I like having someone close by who has shared some of my experiences and knows what is like to be a Laurel girl.

MC: I love working with Jenny—it’s so nice to connect with someone as an adult who comes from the same place that you do.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

JBG: I love to paint. But these days, I rarely have time, so I settle for sitting down with a coloring book! I also like to read, mostly art crime novels.

MC: I have two small children—so not a lot of spare time!

How do you stay connected to Laurel School today?

JBG: I am blessed with close Laurel friends, whom I hope to see at reunion!

MC: I came back to Laurel for our 20th reunion at Alumnae Weekend a few years ago. It was great to see old friends and also fun to be there with my mom, Rebecca Chandler, who is a former teacher at Laurel.

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

JBG: My time at Laurel influenced my choice of going to a women’s college, which intensified my appreciation for single-sex education, as well as my commitment to the empowerment of women. Also, if not for my AP Art History class at the Cleveland Museum of Art Senior year, I would not have discovered my love of art history and therefore, would not have gone to grad school in Washington, DC, and ultimately found my way to the Post.

MC: I got a great education at Laurel and I learned how to write. Thank you for that! Also, my time at Laurel helped me think of myself as a serious student and someone who was interested in doing ambitious things.

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. 


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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