GPS Head Of School To Leave At End Of School Year

Monday, October 28, 2019
Girls Preparatory School announces the resignation of Dr. Autumn A. Graves, the GPS head of school since 2014. Dr. Graves, who will continue in her position at GPS until the end of the 2019-20 school year, has accepted the head of school position at St. Anne’s-Belfield in Charlottesville, Va.
 
Dr. Rebecca Stimson ’73, chair of the GPS board of trustees, said in a letter to parents, alumnae and friends, “Dr. Graves has been an outstanding leader for GPS, modeling the pioneering spirit of our founders. She is a creative and tireless leader who has brought fresh ideas, great energy and talent to the halls of GPS. She will be remembered for her commitment to continued excellence and for initiating new traditions and additions to the GPS campus.”
 
Dr.
Kirk Walker, retired headmaster of McCallie School, former GPS trustee, and past GPS parent, will serve as interim head of school for the 2020-21 school year. Most recently, Dr. Walker served as president of the Southern Association of Independent Schools. “We expect our interim year under Dr. Walker’s leadership to be one of continued progress in the important work of preparing girls for the 21st century,” said Dr. Stimson. “The board of trustees will immediately form a search committee for a new head of school and, due to GPS’s national reputation as a top school for girls, expects to attract a large pool of highly qualified candidates.”
 
In her resignation letter to the board of trustees, Dr. Graves noted that the leadership opportunity at St. Anne’s-Belfield School will take her back to her Virginia roots and enable her young children to have both of their parents in their daily lives. Dr. Graves’ husband, Vann, is the executive director of Brandcenter, a master’s program in advertising, business and marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University. St. Anne's-Belfield School is a coeducational, independent boarding and day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is located near the campus of the University of Virginia, from which Dr. Graves received her undergraduate degree.
 
“My time at GPS has been marked by professional and personal growth,” said Dr. Graves. “The girls have inspired me to be my best self, and I have loved working on their behalf with the teachers, staff, coaches, alumnae, parents and trustees. I have learned that the GPS dress uniform is a visual representation of girls who are strong, thoughtful, resilient and honorable. The GPS community will always have a special place in my heart.”

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