Autumn Graves Named New Head of School at GPS

Thursday, December 5, 2013
Autumn Graves
Autumn Graves

The Board of Trustees of Girls Preparatory School has announced the appointment of Autumn Adkins Graves as its next Head of School, effective July 1, 2014.


The board’s unanimous decision "followed the enthusiastic and unanimous recommendation of the Search Committee," which was “captivated by her warmth, intelligence and passion for education,” according to Board Chair Nini Davenport. “The Board of Trustees searched for a leader who connects with people in a personal and engaging way; who has a passion for our mission of educating girls; who shares our values; and who has innovative ideas for the future while respecting our honored past and traditions. We looked for a person who would build a strong sense of community on campus and champion GPS locally, nationally, and globally while upholding our high level of academic standards. [In Autumn,] we found all of this, and more,” said Ms. Davenport in a letter to alumnae, parents, students, and friends of the School.


A nationally-recognized educator, Ms. Graves brings years of educational leadership to GPS. Currently a doctoral candidate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania, she has served as the Upper School Dean of Students at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.; as Assistant Principal at Friends Seminary in New York City; and most recently as President of Girard College, an independent boarding school for students grades one through twelve in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  While Ms. Graves’s chief responsibilities throughout her career have been in school administration, she has also taught United States History and Health and Wellness and has served as a student advisor and coach.


Named O Magazine’s Woman to Watch for the Decade in 2010, she was an NAIS Edward E. Ford Fellow for Emerging Leaders and the recipient of a Klingenstein Center Fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College.  

In accepting the GPS appointment, Ms. Graves said, “The first time I met with the search committee, I could feel GPS’s genuine commitment to preparing young girls to be strong, educated, independent, thoughtful women who are equipped to be civic and professional leaders in the 21st century. This commitment resonates with me personally and professionally, and I am excited to join a school community that truly believes in educating the whole girl and values the teaching of respect and responsibility through discovery and with excellence.”

Having grown up in Richmond, Virginia, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and her master’s degree at Columbia University. Her husband, R. Vann Graves, is the executive vice president and global executive creative director of McCann Worldgroup, a leading global advertising and communications firm based in New York City. 


Man Shot On S. Kelly Street Tuesday Evening

A man was shot on S. Kelly Street Tuesday evening. At approximately  7:37  p.m., Chattanooga Police Officers responded to the area of 400 S. Kelly to investigate shots fired.  Officers searched the area but were unable to locate a victim of a shooting. Sho rtly after the initial call, police were advised of a gunshot victim that arrived at a local hospital ... (click for more)

School Board Votes To Pay Over $4 Million For Math Textbooks

The County School Board on Tuesday night voted to pay over $4 million for a new edition of math textbooks for K-12. Several board members who supported the move said they had spoken to principals and math teachers, and they were in favor of the new textbooks from Curriculum Associates. Greg Martin was opposed, saying the board should have used all fund balance instead of sources ... (click for more)

County Officials Need To Provide A Decent Animal Shelter

Once upon a time, a group of citizens concerned about the decaying building housing the Humane Educational Society on Highland Park raised their voices in an outcry about the deplorable state of the HES facility and the over-population of unwanted and unspayed/unneutered cats and dogs in Hamilton County.   What happened then was that the City Council stepped ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two More Kick Out UAW

Woody Hayes, the great Ohio State football coach, used to teach his players to “paralyze resistance with persistence” but, my word, the likable theory has taken quite a beating in the past two years at the NTN-Bower ball-bearing plant in Hamilton, Ala. The workers there voted to decertify from the United Auto Workers union two years ago but getting the UAW out the door has turned ... (click for more)

Tull Named SoCon Athlete Of The Year

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga defensive end Davis Tull has been named the 2015 Southern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the league announced today (May 26). Tull will be honored as part of the league’s annual Honors Dinner on Wednesday night in Hilton Head Island, S.C.   Tull becomes the first Moc to win the Male Athlete of the Year Award. As a senior, he ... (click for more)

Soccer Abounds For Chattanooga FC

The Chattanooga FC soccer team continues it's busy schedule this week with games on Wednesday and Friday in two separate national tournaments.    Chattanooga hosts the Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday in the third round of the US Open Cup. The Silverbacks are a professional team that plays in the NASL.   The Silverbacks ended Chattanooga's run in the last year's ... (click for more)