Alumnae Calendar

  • There are no events to display.

The 2019 winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition have recently been named by the Cleveland Institute of Art and 14 Laurel students received 16 honors in the visual arts and writing categories. 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.

Students submitted more than 350,000 works of art and writing in this year’s competition. Award-winning work best exemplifies 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. Congratulations to the following Laurel students who were recognized:


Gold Keys:

  • Celeste Bohan '19, Photography
  • Jordyn Goldstein '20, Painting
  • Linzy Malcolm '20, Photography (pictured, above left)

Silver Keys:

  • Caroline Abbey '19, Photography
  • Victoria Hagen '20, Photography (pictured, above right)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Caroline Abbey '19, Photography
  • Rachel Estafanous '19, Photography
  • Mei Hashimoto '20, Mixed Media
  • Erin Thomas ’22, Painting 


Gold Keys:

  • Melanie Nance '19, Poetry
  • Jacqueline Marshall '21, Poetry

Silver Key:

  • Olivia Savona '19, Critical Essay
  • Nadia Ibrahim '21 (awarded two Silver Keys), Poetry

Honorable Mention:

  • Emi Cummings '20, Personal Essay/Memoir
  • Nadia Ibrahim '21, Flash Fiction
  • Barbara Yang '21, Critical Essay 
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.”




  • January 2019
    • MonJan21 Martin Luther King Jr. Day: NO CLASSES - OFFICES CLOSED
    • FriJan25 Middle School CTP-4 (ERB) Meeting 8:15 AM to 9:00 AM
    • SatJan26 Upper School Dance 8:00 PM to 11:00 PMLyman
    • MonJan28 Parenting Your Adolescent Daughter (for MS Parents) 7:00 PMLyman
    • TueJan29 Middle School CTP-4 (ERBs)
    • WedJan30 Middle School CTP-4 (ERBs)
    • ThuJan31 Middle School CTP-4 (ERBs)
  • February 2019
    • SatFeb02 Groundhog Day
    • TueFeb05 Chinese New Year
    • WedFeb06 Global School Play Day
    • ThuFeb07 Upper School Parent/Advisor Conferences 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM
You have 1 PagePop. View

Distinguished Alumna Award Recipients

2018 Distinguished Alumna

Marne Levine ’88 - COO, Instagram

As the Chief Operating Officer of Instagram, Marne Levine manages the expansion of the community of over 800 million users who “capture and share the world’s moments” on the social network. Since being named the evolving company’s first COO in 2014, Marne learns on-the-go as she identifies business needs and key priorities in a technology realm that is constantly changing. Prior to joining Instagram, she served for four years as Vice President of Global Public Policy at Facebook where she oversaw the company’s interactions with governments and non-governmental organizations. In 2017, she was one of three women recognized by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Woman Making History Award.” And, in December 2016, Business Insider named her the fourth most powerful woman in mobile advertising.

Marne began her career in 1993 at the U.S. Department of Treasury in the Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison. Seven years later, she moved to Boston to serve as Chief of Staff for Harvard University President Larry Summers. After a stint as director of product management for Revolution Money, she returned to the public sector in the Obama Administration as Chief of Staff of the National Economic Council at the White House and Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy where she helped coordinate the development of domestic and international economic policy. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from Miami University and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

She serves on the Advisory Board for and on the board for Women for Women International, a nonprofit that helps women in countries affected by war and conflict. She also is a board member of LIFT, whose mission is to empower families to break the cycle of poverty, and The Urban Institute.

A champion for girls and women, “Marne believes that the best investment women can make is in each other,” notes Rachel Thomas, President of the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation. “At Instagram, Marne often welcomes junior women into executive meetings so they can get exposure to new ideas and mentor. She has used her success to lift up other women.” For “helping to turn a scrappy startup into a global force” and for working to empower women and girls around the world, the Laurel School Alumnae Association awards Marne Levine ’88 its 2018 Distinguished Alumna Award.

2018 Young Alumna of Distinction

Tamara Broderick ’03 - Assistant Professor, MIT

Tamara Broderick is the ITT Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Her research focuses on Bayesian statistics and machine learning, which has broad implications for data analysis. "One of the leading researchers worldwide in this field," as noted by her Ph.D. advisor, Tamara regularly presents her findings at conferences around the world

She recently was named the recipient of a 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship-Sloan Fellowships are given to rising stars in scientific research. Among her many other awards are a Google faculty research award, a two-year Marshall Scholarship to pursue graduate work at Cambridge University and a Young Investigator Program (YIP) research award from the U.S. Army Research Office. She holds an AB in mathematics from Princeton University (where she graduated as the Senior with the highest academic average), master's degrees in mathematics and in physics from the University of Cambridge, and a master's degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley.

In addition to her remarkable academic achievements, Tamara is a strong advocate for young women in STEM fields. As an executive board member of Women in Machine Learning (WIML), she helps promote, through social media, a WIML resource list and workshops, the achievements of women researchers in machine learning. At Princeton, she started a high school math competition with colleagues and at MIT, she is involved with the Women's Technology Program, the very summer program for high school girls interested in science and engineering that first brought her to its campus when she was still a Laurel student. As her nominator wrote, "Tamara is a role model for what she has achieved professionally, her willingness to encourage other women in her field and for how she has made her life in a very challenging field her own." For her striking accomplishments in contemporary academia in a field where women are vastly underrepresented, the Laurel School Alumnae Association awards Tamara Broderick '03 its Young Alumna of Distinction Award.

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award

Kathy Chilcote Pender ’55 - Community Volunteer and Psychotherapist

A tireless advocate, Kathy Chilcote Pender's commitment to children, especially the most vulnerable, is deep and abiding. As her nominator noted of Kathy, "She has devoted her life (and what would appear to be several lifetimes) to serving the needs of and inspiring hope in children and families. Her quiet, soft-spoken ways are but a thin veneer for the dynamic, engaged woman whose actions have always spoken loudly and powerfully in our city."

After graduating from Smith College, Kathy taught for many years, earning two master’s degrees—one in special education with a concentration on emotionally disturbed children and the other in counseling and psychology—before becoming a psychotherapist. Many organizations in Cleveland have benefitted from her wisdom and devotion—including Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Camp Ho Mita Koda, Playhouse Square, Hospice of the Western Reserve and Magnolia Clubhouse—but perhaps none more so than Beech Brook, an agency dedicated to enhancing the emotional well-being and self-sufficiency of youth. Little did she know when she first volunteered at Beech Brook as a reading tutor at the age of 20 that it would become a lifelong connection. In the decades since, she has lent the agency her professional skills as a therapist and has volunteered, organized events, raised funds and served on the Board, including as its Chair. As the former CEO of Beech Brook wrote in a letter of support, “She is the embodiment of the agency’s mission ‘to be a strong voice for children, youth and families.’ Kathy truly believes all children, no matter how traumatized or troubled, can be helped and that fuels her passion and boundless commitment to Beech Brook’s work.”

When Michael, their youngest son, died at the age of 19, Kathy and her husband, Jim, could have turned inward. They choose, instead, to turn outward and give meaning to Michael's life. They collaborated with the Hospice of the Western Reserve on a Pediatric Handbook for Parents whose children are dying. At Gilmour Academy, where both Kathy and Jim serve on the Board of Trustees, they have sponsored a Speaker's Series in Michael's name to promote the mission of Gilmour and established a scholarship for a student with special needs. And, the Michael J. Pender Fund they endowed with the Cleveland Foundation provides generous support to Beech Brook and many other organizations that serve children, not only therapeutically, but through other initiatives including innovative arts programming for children in underserved schools and organizations.

Channeling their personal sorrow into action, the Penders have created a beacon of hope for many. For her courage and commitment in the face of adversity, for her lifelong passion for helping children live healthier lives and for providing safe harbor for families in need, the Laurel School Alumnae Association awards Kathy Chilcote Pender '55 with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

Past Distinguished Alumnae

These are the remarkable women role models on whom the Alumnae Association has bestowed its highest honors:

2017 Deborah Becker ’73, Research Senior Associate and Director, the IPS Employment Center, the Rockville Institute at Westat
Young Alumna of Distinction: Caitlin Leibert ’03, Head of Sustainability, Chipotle
2016 Holly Gleason ’81, Writer, songwriter, music journalist, critic and publicist
Young Alumna of Distinction: Nichelle McCall ’01, Tech Entrepreneur
2015 Shelley Osmun Baranowski '64, Historian, Author, Distinguished Professor
2014 Mary French Conway ’46, Community Volunteer
Young Alumna of Distinction: Lt. Katherine Wirtz ’05, Officer, US Navy
2013 Sandy Buchanan ’74, Executive Director, Ohio Citizen Action
Young Alumna of Distinction: Emily Johnson Jackle ’98, Organic Farmer
2012 Barbara Peterson Ruhlman '50, Philanthropist, Community Volunteer, Fundraiser
2011 Kathryn Hellerstein '70, Assoc. Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Poet, Scholar/Translator of Yiddish poetry
Young Alumna of Distinction: Tiffany Laufer '91, Filmmaker
2010 Heather Roulston Ettinger '79, Advocate for women and their financial health
Young Alumna of Distinction: Amanda Cinalli '04, Professional athlete (soccer)
2009 Virginia "Ginny" Foote '73 President & Co-Founder of the US-Vietnam Trade Council
Young Alumna of Distinction: Camilla Taylor '89, Attorney, Lambda Legal
2008 Elizabeth D. McKinley ’78, Physician, Academic Society Dean at Case Western Reserve Univ.
Young Alumna of Distinction: Roopal Patel '89, Physician, President's Initiative on Malaria
2007 Kay Sproat Chorao '54, Children's book illustator and author
2007 Kathleen Sullivan ’85, Nuclear disarmament activist and educator
2006 Carol Madison Graham '74, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission
2005 A. Lindsay Frazier ’76, Pediatric oncologist and researcher
2004 Mary DeCredico '77, Author, historian and Vice Academic Dean, U.S. Naval Academy
2003 Virginia deConingh Fleming '48, Activist for social reform
2002 Katharine Lee Reid '59, Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art
2001 Elisabeth Galvin Kirsch ’58, Founder/Director of domestic abuse shelter
2000 Nina Freedlander Gibans ’50, Arts advocate extraordinaire
1999 Anne Hopkins Burnham '47, Community activist, preservationist
1999 Elizabeth Morrison Marcotte '69, Environmentalist, energy conservation consultant
1998 Sylvia Robinson Cruess '47, Physician, hospital administrator and health policy maker
1997 Sally Pastorelle Reed '57, Physician and founder of a free clinic
1996 Anne Hollis Reese '55, Mental health educator
1995 Betty Hitchcock Rose '33, Civic Activist and Inventor
1994 Joan Shook '72, Pediatrician
1994 Priscilla Tyler '26, Educator and specialist in Aboriginal literature and art
1993 Kathryn Beck Kris '51, Psychiatrist
1993 Lucy M. Ziurys '75, Astrophysicist
1992 Donna Ferrato '68, Photojournalist
1991 Jean Steel '53, Nurse Practitioner
1990 Andy Logan Lyon '38, Journalist, Columnist
1989 Gwill Linderme Newman '50, Brain research and mental health activist
1988 Helen Teagle Clements '26, Lobbyist for nursing home standards
1987 Anne O'Neil '46, Provincial, The Sacred Heart Order in the United States
1986 Mary Ellen Beck Wohl '50, Chief of Respiratory Diseases, Boston Children's Hospital
1986 Elaine Grasselli Hadden '49, Community Revitalization Activist
1985 Myra Evans Lapeyrolerie '77, Entrepreneur
1985 Louise Ireland Humphrey '37, President, Metropolitan Opera Association
1984 Terry Horvitz Kovel '46, Authority on antiques/collectibles
1983 Susan Crile '60, Artist
1982 Ann Denton Blair '31, Radio and TV Bureau Chief
1981 Mary Feil Hellerstein '39, Pediatrician
1980 Natalie Moore Babbitt '50, Children's book author/illustrator
1979 Elizabeth Brooks Ford '14, Public health and nursing education advocate
1978 Kate Ireland '48, Chair, Board of Governors, Frontier Nursing Service

Nominate an Alumna

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

powered by finalsite