Hockaday School Names New Eugene McDermott Head of School

Laura Leathers currently is interim head of school for the 109-year-old institution. Previously, Leathers served as Hockaday's assistant head of school for academic affairs.

Dr. Laura Leathers has been named the next Eugene McDermott Head of School at the Hockaday School in Dallas, effective Jan. 1.

Leathers currently is interim head of school for the 109-year-old institution. Previously, Leathers served as Hockaday’s assistant head of school for academic affairs.

“We are thrilled to name Dr. Leathers as the next Head of School,” Nicole Ginsburg Small, chair of the Hockaday board of trustees, said in a statement. “I believe Laura is truly the best of both worlds. 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. Laura’s demonstrated commitment to girls’ education, her collaborative leadership style, her deep STEM expertise, and her passion for lifelong learning will empower her to lead Hockaday and continue the School’s momentum into the future.”

Leathers’ selection comes after a nationwide search for a new head of school conducted along with the school’s search partner, RG175. The process included a review of nearly 200 potential candidates serving at top schools across the United States.

Hockaday said that Leathers brings a strong background in STEM to her role, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry and French from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Leathers studied abroad at the Université de Grenoble and earned a Doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Vermont.

Before joining the Hockaday community, Leathers served in various roles over 13 years at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, Tennessee, an all-girls school serving students from age 2 through grade 12. She served as an AP chemistry teacher, science department chair, STEM director, and assistant head of school while there.

“Dr. Leathers deeply appreciates The Hockaday School’s mission, dedication to academic excellence, and strong sense of community,” Small said in a statement. “She is committed to attracting and retaining an excellent faculty and encouraging professional development.”

Leathers called the appointment a “tremendous honor and great opportunity.”

The Hockaday School is one of the most recognized and largest college preparatory schools for young women in the nation. Hockaday was founded in 1913 and continues to build on its original Four Cornerstones of Courtesy, Character, Scholarship, and Athletics.

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