The Hockaday School Names Dr. Laura Leathers as New Head of School

DALLAS, Dec. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hockaday School is pleased to announce Dr. Laura Leathers as the next Eugene McDermott Head of School, effective January 1, 2023. Dr. Leathers currently serves as Interim Head of School for the 109-year-old institution. Prior to her interim role, Dr. Leathers served as Hockaday's Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs.

The selection follows an extensive nationwide search for a new Head of School conducted along with the School's search partner, RG175. The comprehensive process included the careful review of nearly 200 potential candidates serving at top schools across the United States.

"We are thrilled to name Dr. Leathers as the next Head of School," said Nicole Ginsburg Small '91, Chair of the Hockaday Board of Trustees. "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."

Dr. Leathers brings a strong background in STEM to the role, having earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and French from Lafayette College. She studied abroad at the Université de Grenoble and earned a Doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Vermont. Her educational career reflects her passion for science culminating in her Ph.D. dissertation which examined the mechanisms that regulate blood vessel contractility and their relationship to various pathological states. Dr. Leathers also conducted postdoctoral research as a Fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and earned an Education Specialist degree with a concentration in Administration and Supervision from Union University.

Before joining the Hockaday community, Dr. 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 two through grade 12. She served as an AP Chemistry teacher, Science Department Chair, STEM Director, and Assistant Head of School during her tenure. In addition, she was the Assistant Varsity Cross Country Coach and led the Middle School Robotics Club. While at St. Mary's, she was responsible for growing the independent study program and developing new course offerings, including electives in Introduction to Engineering and Solids Modeling and 3D Design. St. Mary's honored Dr. Leathers with the Fannie Warr Service Award, presented to an individual who demonstrates a high degree of loyalty, unselfish service, and love for the school.

"Dr. Leathers deeply appreciates The Hockaday School's mission, dedication to academic excellence, and strong sense of community," said Ms. Small. "She is committed to attracting and retaining an excellent faculty and encouraging professional development. Dr. Leathers is an outstanding communicator and administrator who is excited about leading The Hockaday School. And in addition to her Head of School role, I know the girls will be thrilled to know that Dr. Leathers will continue teaching a Chemistry section to Upper School students at Hockaday."

"We conducted a comprehensive, national search because we wanted to find the best person for the job," said Mandy Ginsberg, '88, Search Committee Chair. "And what we found was that the best person is already here. 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. Dr. Leathers already knows Hockaday and knows what matters most. She leads by example, is committed and respected by faculty and staff, is a strategic thinker, and brings integrity and character every day she comes to work. I am incredibly confident in her ability to lead Hockaday into the future for years to come."

"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," said Dr. Leathers. "I am a passionate believer in educating girls and young women to be capable, confident contributors to their communities and the world. And true to Ela Hockaday's vision, I believe there is no better place to do this than at The Hockaday School."

Dr. Leathers and her husband, Kevin, are the parents of five children, including Ella, Class of 2023.

About The Hockaday School

The Hockaday School is recognized among the finest and largest college preparatory schools for young women in the nation. An independent institution offering an exceptional pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 curriculum, Hockaday was founded in 1913 and continues to build on its original Four Cornerstones of Courtesy, Character, Scholarship, and Athletics. Located on a 100-acre campus in North Dallas, Hockaday features state-of-the-art facilities and a faculty of more than 130 educators serving a student body of more than 1,000 young women. More information about Hockaday can be found at

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SOURCE The Hockaday School