School Leadership

Interim Head of School (2020-2021)

Lila Lohr is uniquely positioned to lead St. Catherine’s School. She’s a graduate of Garrison Forest School, an all-girls’ school in Maryland, and received a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and a Master in Education from Goucher College. After teaching, coaching and leading at Independent Day School in Middletown, Conn. and Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Lila served as Headmistress of St. Paul’s School for Girls in Baltimore and Head of Princeton Day School in New Jersey. Following those Headships, she has served as an Interim Head across the nation for two decades, including appointments at Princeton Day School, St. Paul’s School for Girls, Garrison Forest School, Marin Country Day School in California, and the Katherine Delmar Burke School for girls and the Town School for Boys in San Francisco. The list of her board affiliations, professional memberships and published works is lengthy and impressive.

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Sue Baldwin

    Sue Baldwin 

    Assistant Head of School and Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    804-288-2804 x3038
    Bio
  • Photo of Lara Wulff

    Dr. Lara Wulff 

    Director of Upper School
    Bio
  • Photo of Frances Doyle

    Frances Doyle 85

    Interim Director of Middle School
  • Photo of Annie Kapetanis

    Dr. Annie Kapetanis 

    Director of Lower School
    804-288-2804 x3064
    Bio

List of 5 items.

  • Head's Council

    Working alongside the Head of School is a passionate group of educators and professionals meets regularly to proactively develop operational plans, drive innovation and ensure that the students, faculty and staff what they need to learn and grow. 
     
    Interim Head of School 2020-2021
    Lila Lohr

    Assistant Head of School and Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    Sue Baldwin

    Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
    Peter Pastore

    Director of Lower School
    Dr. Annie Kapetanis

    Interim Director of Middle School 2020-2021
    Frances Yeatman Doyle '85

    Director of Upper School
    Dr. Lara Wulff 
     
    Director of Innovative Learning
    Jennifer Vermillion 

    Director of Academics, Upper School History Teacher
    Dr. Pontus Hiort
     
    Director of Admissions
    Jennifer Cullinan

    Director of Marketing and Communications
    Theodora Miller 

    Director of Development
    Deborah Andrews Dunlap '70

    Director of Special Projects
    Anna Hatfield
     
    In addition, the Head's Council collaborates with the following school leaders: 

    School Chaplain
    Rev. Becky McDaniel

    Arts Coordinator, Chair of Theatre and Dance
    Kendall Neely 

    Director of Athletics
    Julie Dayton 

    Director of Finance
    Lori Fuller

    Director of Human Resources
    Lea McCormick

    Director of Technology

    Dennis Smith

    Director of Security
    Scott Meyerhoffer
  • Board of Governors

    2020-2021 Members:

    Macon Hubard Clarkson ’96, Chair
    Anne Kenny-Urban '83, Vice Chair
    Jason M. Butler
    Brian C. Carney
    Sheila  A. Corcoran
    Tammy F. DeRosier
    Peter C. Durette
    Maura McGuire Gaenzle 82
    Allen C. Goolsby III
    Frederica (Freddie) P. Gray
    Carol Brown Harris
    Trishana Glover Hassell, M.D.
    Hilary W. Hawkins
    Helen Hamilton Horsley ’83
    Cal Jennison
    Charles S. MacFarlane
    Patrick McNulty
    John R. Nester II
    Donnan Thompson O’Keefe ’89
    Julie Konerding Padgett ’90
    W. Taylor Reveley III
    Lane Hoofnagle Sanderson '91
    Ashley L. Taylor, Jr. 
    Chrystal Telfian
    Michael J. Thorne-Begland
    Elizabeth Tilghman Valentine ’94
    Margaret S. Wade
     
    Emeriti:
    Anne Whitfield Kenny ’51
    Theodore (Ted) W. Price
    Wesley Wright, Jr.
     
    Ex Officio Members:
     
    St. Catherine’s School Foundation President
    Bryan F. Durand
     
    Parents’ Association President
    Amanda P. Williamson
     
    Alumnae Association President
    Katherine Dameron McCormick '75
     
    President of Church Schools in the Diocese of Virginia
    David H. Charlton, Ed.D.
     
    Interim Head of St. Catherine’s School
    Lila Lohr
  • Foundation Board

    Members 2020-2021

    Bryan F. Durand, President
    Julie S. Betts '94
    Ann Holden Gurkin ' 85
    Eric R. Harper
    F. Claiborne Johnston III
    Kee T. Rabb
    Carter V. Whisnand
  • National Alumnae Board

    Mission Statement
    The purpose of the Ellett-St. Catherine's Alumnae Association Board shall be to maintain and advance the interests of the Virginia Randolph Ellett School and its successor, St. Catherine's School, to strengthen relations between St. Catherine's and the alumnae, and promote the spirit of service and fellowship among members through various volunteer activities and committee work.

    Officers
    President
    Katherine Dameron McCormick '75, Miami, Fla.

    Vice President/President-Elect
    Amy Bice de Venoge '87, Richmond, Va.

    Secretary
    Tiffany Jones '06, Washington, D.C.
    Directors
    Ronda Lawrence Bernstein '87, Washington, D.C.
    Corbin Cowart Bettencourt '67, Charleston, S.C.
    Naomi Weinberg Berk '91, Boston, Mass.
    Margaret Morrison Bradley '97, Charlotte, N.C.
    Spencer Bowles Broadbent '82, Richmond, Va.
    Tyler Hetzer Burr '05, Richmond, Va.
    Nancy Broadbent Casserley '73, Greenwich, Conn.
    Lanier Coles ’92, San Francisco, Calif.
    Mary Mason Williams Foukal '01, Charlottesville, Va.
    Elizabeth Boney Haywood '73, Raleigh, N.C.
    Elizabeth Irwin ’00, New York, NY
    Beth Beardall Long ’67, Sedalia, CO
    Wallis Wickham Raemer '66, Brookline, Mass.
    Tatem Webb Read '97, Mill Valley, Calif.
    Amie Rennolds '75, Pawling, N.Y.
    Anne Redford Schleusner ’89, Charlotte, N.C.
    Bev Talbott '72, San Francisco, Calif.
    Jackie Parker Taylor '94, Hillsborough, N.J.      
    Natalie Bocock Turnage '79, Denver, Colo.
    Chase Avery Wood '85, Charleston, S.C.
    Ex Officio
    Past President: Marshall Trow Lynch ’89, Richmond, Va.
    Annual Fund Chair:
     TBA
    President, Richmond Chapter: Ibbie Hedrick Britton '00, Richmond, Va.



  • Richmond Alumnae Board

    Richmond Board of the Ellett-St. Catherine's Alumnae Association
    The purpose of the Richmond Chapter is to promote interest in and understanding of St. Catherine's School and its educational value to the community through active alumnae participation, to strengthen relations between the school and the alumnae, to promote a spirit of service and fellowship among members, and to render assistance, as needed and as our resources allow, to the Alumnae and Development Office and other offices of the School. The Richmond Chapter is an active and vital volunteer organization in terms of fundraising and other volunteer efforts.

    Officers
    President
    Ibbie Hedrick Britton '00

    Vice President/President-Elect
    Britt Childs Staley '01 

    Secretary
    Berkeley Blanchard Martin ’01

    Treasurer
    Anne Garland '09
     
    Directors
    Marshall Beale '09
    Eliza Blackwell Conrad '07
    Katie Carleton Gallalee ’07
    Meg Szumski Grymes '08
    Hunter Blair Harrell '08
    Lang Robertson Liebman '98
    Eliza McGehee '09
    Katie Burnett Peple '99 
    Kate Maxwell Rennolds '06
    Erin Richardson '04
    Van Scherer Ruffner '95
    Tovia Martirosian Smith '98
    Elizabeth Clinard Voulgarakis ’00
    Sara Chapman Waechter '97
    Catie Blair Wilton ’00
    Megan Gross White '00
    Past President
    Rendall Harris '96

    Sustainer (10+ years of service)
    Lindsay Bowen Adamson '93
    Beth Irby Beale '76
    Amy Bice de Venoge '87
    Christy Amrhein Feiler '88
    Carrie Featherstone Hoge '93
    Kathleen Will Mackey '78
    Karrie Burnham Southall '94

Strategic Plan

The Four Pillars

For more than 125 years, St. Catherine’s has prepared girls for a lifetime of learning, leadership and service. As we look to the future, we know that we must continue to act. With this in mind, every facet of our community contributed to a powerful School vision known as “Unwavering Purpose: The Strategic Plan for St. Catherine’s School.” Many initiatives have launched and our efforts continue in this important work. 

Guided by our Episcopal identity, our strategic priorities are:
  • Girl -Centered
  • Remarkable Intellect
  • Life of Meaning
  • Tradition of Strength

Unwavering Purpose: The Strategic Plan for St. Catherine’s School

Previous Heads of School

List of 11 items.

  • Virginia Randolph Ellett

    Founder and First Headmistress
    Virginia Randolph Ellett, or Miss Jennie as she was affectionately known, was the founder and first headmistress of St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia. For nearly four decades, from 1890-1939, she was the heart and soul of the little school that started in the dining room of a boarding house and grew to become one of the leading independent girls schools in the nation.

    Today she is considered to be not only a pioneer in the field of education but also a key figure in the history of women’s education in the South. Her spirit, her hopes for women, and her educational standards still guide and inspire the school which she created and nurtured.
  • Emily Hamilton Welch

    1917-1919
    In spite of Miss Jennie’s blunt warning in May of 1917 that there was no guaranteed salary, Emily Welch left her post at the Charlton School in New York City for the thrill of “the challenge.” She became principal of the country day school newly located on the Westhampton campus and effectively managed despite all the inherent disadvantages of starting up a school in what was then considered “the middle of nowhere.”

    Miss Jennie assumed the title of founder, and headmistress of the Upper School, and the two worked in harmony. Miss Welch braced the school through World War I shortages and financial crises, as well as the hardship of the notoriously bleak and bitter cold winter of 1918-1919. It was then that she exhibited yet one more awe-inspiring talent: she pitched in as a makeshift plumber when the water pipes froze in the new and unheated bungalows.

    Miss Welch was instrumental in starting several organizations in the fledgling school, including a student government; a modest yearbook, the Tid Bit, which was in keeping with the need for wartime economy; and a campus Red Cross chapter. Her early retirement was influenced by the precarious state of the School’s finances as well as the increased family responsibilities which she faced following the death of her sister.
  • Rosalie Haxall Noland

    1919-1924
    Rosalie Haxall Noland, a native of Richmond, came to St. Catherine’s from the new Foxcroft School for girls which was founded by her older sister. She guided the school through its transition in 1920 from the Virginia Randolph Ellett School for Girls to St. Catherine’s School under the auspices of the Episcopal Church in Virginia.

    The School’s boarding program, wholeheartedly endorsed by Miss Jennie, began during Miss Noland’s administration and Ellett Hall was built in 1922 to provide dormitory space. An accomplished horsewoman and foxhunter, she instituted a riding program at the school. Long after Miss Noland knew “in her heart” that she wanted to leave the School to pursue other interests, she nobly stayed to see through the projects she had begun for Miss Jennie.

    In January 1924, with the full blessing of Miss Jennie and the bishop, she left St. Catherine's to marry James M. Ball, Jr. Miss Noland was remembered with affection for her interest in Richmond and her active involvement in all aspects of community life.
  • Louisa deBerniere Bacot Brackett

    1924-1947
    Miss Bacot came to St. Catherine’s in 1924 and remained at the school following her marriage in 1935 to Mr. Jeffrey Brackett. An able teacher, she was hand chosen by Miss Jennie to carry out the goals for the School. They worked together, hand in glove, often having tea together in the late afternoon to discuss the day’s events.

    She was patient and devoted to the students, and believed firmly that the school had a responsibility to find and develop what was best in each girl. She is well remembered for her emphasis on integrity. With ingenuity and Spartan economy she saw the school through the Depression and shortages of World War II, often supplanting faculty wages with food, board and children’s tuition.

    Under Mrs. Brackett's guidance, enrollment increased, the boarding department expanded and the campus grew “from a muddy crossroads to a green and pleasant campus ringed with sturdy brick buildings.” Attributed to her are many of the school’s traditions and student organizations: The League, Golds and Whites, a more structured form of student government, and the Candlelight and Ring Services. Traditions already in place, such as General Lee’s Birthday Celebration, continued to be honored.

    Mrs. Brackett was especially concerned with the spiritual life of the school. Her most personal creation was the underground chapel, which she had fashioned out of the pipe cellar beneath the classroom arcade and her most enduring legacy is our School motto: “What we keep, we lose; only what we give remains our own.”
  • Susanna Pleasants Turner

    1947-1965
    Susanna Turner is remembered for her wise guidance to students and faculty, her unwavering religious faith, and particularly for her personal courage, integrity and determination as she led the School and the Board of Governors through integration in the mid-1960s.

    Miss Turner was a graduate of Hollins College, which was founded by her great grandfather, Charles Lewis Cocke. During World War II she was a lieutenant colonel in the Women’s Army Corps, and received the Bronze Star Medal for her work as an assistant personnel officer in Germany.

    At St. Catherine’s, she maintained the highest academic standards while also emphasizing the need to enable each student to develop a broad range of interests and talents for a lifetime of learning and involvement. After her retirement from St. Catherine’s, she became a teacher and administrator at a mission school in Liberia, West Africa, then moved to Roanoke, Va. where she served as headmistress and director of the Community School of the Roanoke Valley.
  • Robert William Trusdell

    1965-1974
    To Robert Trusdell came the distinction of being the first male Head of School. Although there must have been days when he considered this a dubious honor at best, Mr. Trusdell rose to the challenge and led the school through a period of tremendous growth and reevaluation.

    He sought to attract a more diverse pool of applicants and initiated an extensive marketing campaign as well as a major fundraising program to create scholarships and grants for students who needed them. Under his guidance the boarding program was revitalized and the athletic program was enriched. He realized the need to increase faculty salaries and to recruit more male faculty members. A thorough review of the curriculum led to its major revision as well as the bright new concept of the Minimester.

    Turner Hall, Blair Hall and a new gym were built during his administration. The school’s first chaplain, Philip H. Whitehead, was appointed. The late 1960s and early 1970s called for review and modernization of the code for student conduct and attention to prevailing social issues. A new prefect system offered greater opportunity for student leadership and participation in the day-to-day operations of the School.
  • Michael Steele Bright Churchman

    1974-1979
    Michael Churchman came to St. Catherine’s after a decade as headmaster of the Kent School in Englewood, Colo. It was his aim to renew the confidence in the school’s mission and strengthen its sense of community.

    During his tenure, the academic program continued to be reviewed and updated and collaboration with St. Christopher’s reached an all-time high, to the benefit of both institutions. Boarding recruitment remained a priority and the Minimester program blossomed. St. Catherine’s was granted the honored permission to organize a chapter in the national Cum Laude Society, which recognizes distinguished academic achievement by students in independent school.

    The entire physical plant of the school was evaluated for renovation and modernization; the result was a well-groomed campus, much appreciated by all. Mr. Churchman oversaw the development of a faculty salary scale, expansion of guidance and counseling programs, and the institution of drug and alcohol awareness programs in the Middle School. He encouraged renewed alumnae interest in the affairs of the School, and enthusiastically supported the advent of Daisy Days, an annual event uniting the school community, boosting school spirit, promoting goodwill, and raising money for the school. He was committed to strengthening the fine arts and performing arts programs, believing that they were one of the special strengths of an independent school.
  • Allen Wilkins Becker

    1979-1989
    Allen Becker came to St. Catherine’s following five years as headmaster at St. Andrew’s School in Jackson, Miss. The “future” had arrived, and Dr. Becker greeted the challenge with a strategic plan to attract and hold excellent faculty, to strengthen the mathematics and science programs, to develop a computer literacy program and to provide new programs in economic education in all grades.

    He sought to develop the dimensions of each student by expanding athletics and extra-curricular activities, building up the community service program and developing current events programs. Dr. Becker emphasized the necessity of intense recruitment and increasing financial aid in order to attract a bright and increasingly diversified student body.

    It was his mission, as well, to maintain and enhance the beauty of the campus. Under the leadership of Dr. Becker, endowed chairs were established in English, French, mathematics and economics, demonstrating the School’s commitment to its outstanding faculty.
  • Auguste Johns Bannard

    1989-2007
    Auguste Johns Bannard, known to all as “Gussie,” was the first alumna to serve as head of the school. Mrs. Bannard's most notable accomplishments include doubling the diversity of the student body, leading a focus on multiculturalism, and raising more than $100 million dollars in annual giving, capital campaigns and endowment.

    Enrollment grew from 700 to 833 with the addition of junior kindergarten and a third section to each grade level. The number of endowed master teaching chairs rose from four to ten, and Mrs. Bannard led the effort to build an extraordinary professional development program that includes endowed sabbatical leave for senior teachers.

    As enrollment and fundraising efforts increased, the size of the Lower School building doubled, the chapel was renovated, and Turner Hall was redesigned and rewired with the Wright Library becoming the print and electronic brain of the campus. The new 70,000 square foot Anne Whitfield Kenny Sports and Fitness Center was added as well as a 145-acre tract in Goochland County, home to some of the region's best athletic fields.
  • Laura J. Fuller

    2007 – 2011
    Laura Fuller's impact as Head of School will endure for decades to come. During her tenure as the 10th leader at St. Catherine's, she guided a host of changes both in and out of the classroom -- championing innovation while preserving and honoring the longstanding traditions of the School.

    With her background in science, Mrs. Fuller raised the profile of science and mathematics at St. Catherine's -- aligning with national emphasis on these disciplines -- while maintaining the strong history of excellence in the humanities. She introduced STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) program in the Upper School, Physics First in eighth grade and enhanced science and math courses in the Lower School.

    Mrs. Fuller also helped oversee the renovations of the School's historical buildings (Ellett, Bacot and Washington) into state-of-the-art classrooms, labs and meeting spaces and spearheaded the expansion of the Dining Hall and the addition of Cafe 2010.
  • Dr. Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff

    Dr. Terrie Hale Scheckelhoff

    2012-2020
    Dr. Scheckelhoff is passionate about the education of girls and young women. She has dedicated 36 years of her career, including extensive research and first-hand experience, to this endeavor. Dr. Scheckelhoff has held nearly every position at a girls’ school – beginning as a classroom teacher before moving to admissions and financial aid, then into administration at Columbus School for Girls and finally as Head of School at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Va.
     
    Dr. Scheckelhoff is the 11th Head of School at St. Catherine’s, founded in 1890 with a current day enrollment of 958 girls in junior kindergarten through grade 12. She manages a $23 million budget, leads more than 200 faculty and staff, supports the Board of Governors and Foundation Board members and oversaw the completion of a $40.4 million capital and endowment campaign. She led the effort for a new Strategic Plan for the School in 2014 and was integral in St. Catherine’s serving as the host site for the National Coalition of Girls School conference. Dr. Scheckelhoff is an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond, teaching a graduate level course in leadership in education.
     
    A sought after conference presenter and panelist, Dr. Scheckelhoff has presented at 22 different national, regional and state conferences over the past decade. She has published notable works on relevant topics such as women in leadership, girls and technology and independent school finances. Dr. Scheckelhoff has a long history of active involvement in organizations that advocate for girls and young women, including serving as a board member for the National Coalition of Girls Schools,  working with the Online School for Girls and unique partnerships with colleges, universities and government agencies.
     
    Dr. Scheckelhoff holds a Ph.D. in Education Studies: Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska, earned a B.S. in Elementary Education at Miami University of Ohio and earned an M.A. in Education Administration and an M.B.A. from Ohio State University.