Head of School Albert Throckmorton announced today his appointment of Dr. Laura C. Leathers as the fifth Assistant Head of St. Mary's Episcopal School. Dr. Leathers is the current chair of the Science Department and K-12 STEM Coordinator and Outreach Director where she oversees K-12 programming in science, computer science, and engineering. Dr. Leathers' skills and leadership in developing school-wide curriculum and programs have engaged parents and students while building community partnerships. As Assistant Head of School, Dr. Leathers' new role encompasses faculty recruitment, professional development, strategic community initiatives, curriculum development, and accreditation.
Dr. Leathers' work has focused upon unifying a school-wide cohesive curriculum that includes tinker and maker fairs, upper level robotics, engineering, computer science, and coding. In personalizing these programs, she has developed opportunities for parents to engage in Early Childhood and Lower School science and redesigned the Honors Seminar for Upper School students to reach our learners in a broad range of interests.
Dr. Leathers' extensive work in the greater Memphis community has helped to establish strategic partnerships for St. Mary's with such organizations as ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Medtronic, University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, and 100 Girls of Code. Dr. Leathers has expanded the profile of the school within Tennessee and among our peers in the National Coalition of Girls Schools, having presented and written extensively on her research and her innovative programs at St. Mary's.
Dr. Leathers holds a PhD in physiology and pharmacology from the University of Vermont, an Educational Specialist degree in School Administration and Leadership from Union University, and a BA in Biochemistry and French from Lafayette College. Before joining St. Mary's in 2001, she was a research fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
Dr. Leathers' belief in the mission of St. Mary's, her enthusiasm for the school's engagement with the community, and her experience in school-wide team building and curriculum impressed those on the interview panels. Throckmorton invited representatives from every constituency to meet the finalists. "Laura impressed others with the same qualities that I admire. She is insightful as an administrator and inspiring as a role model. Teachers appreciate the fact that Dr. Leathers cares about them as a professional and that she has experience mentoring other professionals in our city. In addition, Laura's initiatives in making meaningful connections in our community recommend her well to the advancement of the school's strategic plan."
Current Assistant Head of School Leigh Mansberg is moving on to a career in business after twenty years at St. Mary's, five as Assistant Head. Dr. Leathers will begin her new role in July and will also serve as Interim Science Department chair for the next academic year.