Hockaday Names New Head of School

The Hockaday School named Dr. Laura Leathers as its next Eugene McDermott Head of School, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Leathers is serving as interim head of school after serving as Hockaday’s assistant head of school for academic affairs.

“This is both a tremendous honor and a great opportunity, and it is my goal to ensure that our girls are in a position to succeed today and in the future,” Leathers said. “I am a passionate believer in educating girls and young women to be capable, confident contributors to their communities and the world.”

The selection follows a national search conducted with the school’s search partner, RG175, which reviewed nearly 200 potential candidates at schools across the country.

Leathers comes from a background in STEM with a bachelor’s in biochemistry and French and doctorate in pharmacology.

“She is both an innovative thinker with a long and impressive career as an educator and administrator, as well as a thoughtful and strategic leader who has gained a deep appreciation of Hockaday’s long and impactful history in educating girls to live lives of purpose,” said Nicole Ginsburg Small, chair of the Hockaday board of trustees. “Laura’s demonstrated commitment to girls’ education, her collaborative leadership style, her deep STEM experience, and her passion for lifelong learning will empower her to lead Hockaday and continue the school’s momentum into the future.”

Before coming to Hockaday, Leathers served in various roles ranging from teacher to coach to assistant head of school over 13 years at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee. While at St. Mary’s, she grew the independent study program and developed new course offerings. The school awarded her the Fannie Warr Service Award, presented to an individual who demonstrates a high degree of loyalty, unselfish service, and love for the school.

“What we found is that the best person is already here,” said Mandy Ginsberg, search committee chair. “With more than 20 years of independent school experience, Laura is a proven leader and has an outstanding reputation in the independent and girls school world.”

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