Hockaday Names Interim Head of School

The Hockaday School Tuesday announced Dr. Laura Leathers’ appointment to the role of interim Eugene McDermott Head of School effective July 1.

Leathers’ appointment will make her Hockaday’s 14th head of school since its founding in 1913.

“We are so pleased to name Dr. Leathers as our interim head of school,” said Nicole Ginsburg Small, Hockaday Board of Trustees chair. “She is a highly respected and experienced educator and administrator who will bring tremendous strength and leadership to this role. I am confident that her leadership will allow Hockaday a seamless transition and to remain focused on our longstanding mission and commitment to engaging every student in a shared journey of discovery, integrity, scholarship, and accomplishment.”

Dr. Leathers has served as Hockaday’s Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs since 2020 and is responsible for supporting the division heads and the dean of studies, in addition to faculty-led initiatives, committees, and workgroups. Before joining Hockaday, she spent 16 years at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee as the assistant head of school. 

She earned a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and French from Lafayette College and studied abroad at the Université de Grenoble. After graduating, she earned a doctor of philosophy in pharmacology degree from the University of Vermont and conducted her postdoctoral work as a research fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Throughout her career, she has authored numerous scientific publications, presented at STEM and other education conferences, and participates in leadership seminars focused on best practices in girls’ education. Leathers has taught science courses including biology, chemistry, and AP chemistry, and continues to teach a section of chemistry at Hockaday. 

“I am delighted that Dr. Leathers will be stepping into this role and know she can count on the support of the leadership team, our faculty and staff, parents, Alumnae, and all those who love and appreciate the special role of Hockaday in our community,” said Landy Elliott Fox, alumnae association president.

Dr. Leathers will take over as interim head of school following the departure of Dr. Karen Warren Coleman, who announced in March she is stepping down effective June 30. 

(READ: Hockaday Head Will Step Down This Summer)

“My goal is to make this transition a smooth one, while always keeping the commitment to our girls front and center,” said Leathers. “Hockaday is a phenomenal institution with a long history of excellence. I look forward to using my knowledge and experience to work with our outstanding team to prepare for the coming School year so that, together, we can ensure Hockaday’s continued success.”

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