Thursday, April 24, 2014 · 7:51 p.m.
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Autumn Graves has been named the new head of school at GPS. (Photo: Contributed)

Officials announced Thursday morning that "nationally recognized educator" Autumn Graves will be the new head of school at Girls Preparatory School, effective July 1. 

"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," Board Chair Nini Davenport said in a prepared statement. 

Davenport said that the board was captivated by Graves' "warmth, intelligence and passion for education."

"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 Graves,] we found all of this and more," Davenport also said. 

Graves being introduced at GPS

Graves brings years of educational leadership to GPS, according to a news release.

She is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania and has served as the Upper School dean of students at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

She has also been assistant principal at Friends Seminary in New York City and most recently has served as president of Girard College, an independent boarding school in Philadelphia.

Most of her positions have been in school administration, but she has also taught United States history and health and wellness. And she has served as an adviser and coach. 

She has been named the Woman to Watch for the Decade by O Magazine.

She was also named an NAIS Edward E. Ford Fellow for Emerging Leaders and was the recipient of a Klingenstein Center Fellowship at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

"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; 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," Graves said in accepting the position, according to a news release. 

Former Head of School Randy Tucker retired in June. Click here to read more about that. 

Updated @ 10:37 a.m. on 12/5/13 to for clarity.

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