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. 



Corker Praises Action On North Korea Sanctions

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement after the Trump administration announced new sanctions against North Korea.   He said, “The administration is taking further action to isolate North Korea and prevent the rogue Kim regime from evading tough international sanctions.   “Congress ... (click for more)

Bradley County School Board Holds Session On Improving School Safety

The Bradley County Board of Education on Thursday held a closed-door session on school safety and security. Officials said the meeting was focused on the current level of security measures in place by the Bradley County School district and what direction the district needed to head to further improve or add to those measures. Capt. James Bradford of the Bradley County Sheriff's ... (click for more)

Reflections On Billy Graham

Sandra and I are saddened this morning after learning of the death of Billy Graham. We rejoice today, because Mr. Graham once said "It will be reported that Billy Graham has died, but that won't be the truth. He said the truth is that he had only moved to a new location".  I remember when we named 15th Street as Billy Graham Avenue, his daughter Gigi came for the dedication ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We’re The Angriest State

WalletHub, a financial-health website that has found it can draw a lot of attention by ranking the states on which is “fattest,” smartest, and so forth, has just announced its “sinful” rating and Tennessee churches should be ashamed of the job they are doing in making the Volunteer State a haven for puritans. Then again, our tourism may soon explode … remember Sodom & Gomorrah. ... (click for more)

Bearettes Wallop Warren, 87-22, In Region 3-3A For 61st Win In 62 Games

(Story will be updated) CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central is the state’s No. 2-ranked girls’ team, according to MaxPreps. The Bearettes (28-0) is the District 5-3A tournament champion. Visiting Warren County has a sub-.500 record and is the No. 4 team out of District 6-3A. So, on Friday night at Jim Smiddy Arena, the Bearettes played the favorite’s role perfectly ... (click for more)

UTC Men Fall Short At UNCG 72-51

Senior Joshua Phillips tied his career high with 17 points to go with a game-high-tying 10 rebounds in the Chattanooga Mocs 72-51 loss at UNCG in Southern Conference play  Friday  night. He and Makale Foreman combined for 32 points.   Phillips’ effort led all scorers, Foreman has 33 points in his two starts at point guard for the injured Rodney Chatman. James ... (click for more)