By Ruby Liles
At the close of the 2019-20 school year, Dr. Steakley will be leaving St. Mary’s and Memphis to join Episcopal School of Baton Rouge as their new Head of School.
Photo courtesy of the St. Mary's website.
Steakley says: “I think what’s important to know is that there’s nothing wrong. I love this school; I’ve been here for seventeen years.”
Steakley has, however, known that her desire is to become a Head of School. “Mr. Throckmorton has actually been wonderful in supporting me and preparing me,” Steakley says, describing the support and professional development he has provided her. One opportunity has been access to a training program through the National Association of Independent Schools for aspiring Heads of Schools.
Dr. Steakley had visited Episcopal School of Baton Rouge, a co-ed, 3-year-old-through-12th-grade Episcopal school, a few years ago to conduct professional development for their teachers on blended learning, PowerSchool, and some of the other programs St. Mary’s implements into the curriculum.
“I got an email right around graduation of last year indicating that their head was retiring and they were looking for a new [head], and many people thought I would be a great fit,” Steakley said. She applied on June 1st and underwent a long interview process resulting in finalist interviews held in September, for which Dr. Steakley was unanimously selected as the search committee’s recommendation.
“St. Mary’s is why I’ve had the courage to do this,” Steakley says. “I’ve had the continued support from the administration [and] the teachers to allow me to move: I began here as a biology and chemistry teacher, then I became Director of Studies, and then the Upper School Head.”
Mr. Throckmorton and Dr. Leathers are committed to a national search for a new Head of Upper School. The position has been posted and has already received some applications. “I think this position will attract some great candidates because this is one of the best girls’ schools in the country,” says Steakley.
Moving forward, there will be a search committee formed by people from all different constituent groups, and candidates will be brought on campus to be interviewed by all those constituents. Steakley says, “Students may be invited to that process, and those interested should say so."
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