When Mayfield Senior School’s beloved Head of School Kate Morin announced her plan for retirement in June 2022, Mayfield’s Board of Trustees partnered with the renowned search firm RG 175 to conduct a nationwide search, receiving robust input from the entire community over a six-month period. Now, Mayfield is delighted to announce their new Head of School for the 2023-24 school year, Laura Farrell.
“Kate Morin has led Mayfield with such exquisite vision and heart, always keeping our mission at the center of all we do, especially through the challenging times over the last few years,” said Erika Randall, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “Our entire Mayfield community showed such care and commitment during this process to find our next school leader, someone who can inspire Mayfield to flourish in new ways, while remaining mission-driven as ever. I am confident that Laura Farrell is that leader.”
With 30 years of experience in education, Laura Farrell will be moving from the Philadelphia area, where she served as Head of School for three years at Merion Mercy Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school. As the first layperson to lead Merion Mercy, Farrell advanced the school’s mission and charism of the Sisters of Mercy, and in the midst of challenges presented by the pandemic, she also led a whole-school revitalization effort to develop a fresh vision for student learning and faculty development while modernizing all aspects of school infrastructure. Prior to her work at Merion Mercy Academy, Farrell served as the Dean of Faculty at St. Catherine's School in Richmond, Virginia, one of the largest JK-12 all-girls schools in the country. There Farrell helped shape and advance many areas, including all academic departments, signature programming, global education, marketing and branding, diversity and inclusion programming, and capital projects. A seasoned independent school leader, Farrell's career began in the classroom. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary, she began teaching high school Social Studies. She was a Fulbright-Hayes recipient, received a summer study grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, and went on to earn a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from The George Washington University.
After nearly 75 years of educating young women on the 500 Bellefontaine Street campus, Mayfield Senior School remains dedicated to the ideals and goals of Holy Child schools, and their founder, Cornelia Connelly, who famously coined Mayfield’s motto of “Actions not Words.” As a lifelong Catholic, Farrell’s faith plays a central role in her work and daily life and embraces Cornelia Connelly’s “whole child” philosophy. ”When I visited Mayfield, I found a school grounded in Gospel values and committed to excellence,” Farrell said. “Cornelia Connelly’s spirituality deeply resonates with me both as a person of faith and as an educator. I‘m so looking forward to getting to know and working with this incredible community.”
Kate Morin expressed her delight in the selection of Laura Farrell and her enthusiasm for new beginnings in general. “I will never forget the experience of being welcomed to Mayfield Senior School. Entering Strub Hall for the first time, I felt an immediate sense of belonging,” said Morin. “This time of transition is so exciting for me, and I am sure for Laura too, because the love and joy inside the Mayfield family is irrepressible. It’s the beginning of a wonderful and productive relationship.”
In the coming months, Mayfield looks forward to celebrating the distinguished tenure of retiring Head of School Kate Morin and then formally welcoming Laura Farrell to the Mayfield Senior School community this summer.