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Mayfield Senior School Names New Leader for 2023-24

First published in the Dec. 15 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

When Mayfield Senior School’s beloved Head of School Kate Morin announced her plan for retirement in June 2022, the institution’s board of trustees partnered with search firm RG 175 to conduct a nationwide hunt for her successor, receiving robust input from the entire community over a six-month period.
Now, Mayfield has announced its new head of school for the 2023-24 school year, Laura Farrell.
Farrell, who has 30 years of experience in education, will move from the Philadelphia area, where she served as head of school for three years at Merion Mercy Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school.
“Kate Morin has led Mayfield with such exquisite vision and heart, always keeping our mission at the center of all we do, especially through the challenging times over the last few years,” said board chair Erika Randall. “Our entire Mayfield community showed such care and commitment during this process to find our next school leader, someone who can inspire Mayfield to flourish in new ways, while remaining mission driven as ever. I am confident that Laura Farrell is that leader.”
Farrell advanced Merion Mercy’s mission and, amid the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, led a whole-school revitalization effort to develop a fresh vision for student learning and faculty development while modernizing all aspects of school infrastructure.
Previously, Farrell served as dean of faculty at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia, one of the largest TK-12 all-girls schools in the country. There Farrell helped shape and advance many areas, including all academic departments, signature programming, global education, marketing and branding, diversity and inclusion programming, and capital projects.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary, Farrell began teaching high school social studies. She was a Fulbright-Hayes recipient, received a summer study grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities, and went on to earn a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from George Washington University.
After nearly 75 years of educating young women on the 500 Bellefontaine St. campus, Mayfield Senior remains dedicated to the ideals and goals of Holy Child schools and their founder, Cornelia Connelly, who coined Mayfield’s motto “Actions not Words.” Farrell, a lifelong Catholic whose faith plays a central role in her work and daily life, embraces Connelly’s “whole child” philosophy.
“When I visited Mayfield, I found a school grounded in Gospel values and committed to excellence,” Farrell said. “Cornelia Connelly’s spirituality deeply resonates with me both as a person of faith and as an educator. I’m so looking forward to getting to know and working with this incredible community.”
Morin expressed her happiness over the selection of Farrell and her enthusiasm for new beginnings in general.
“I will never forget the experience of being welcomed to Mayfield Senior School. Entering Strub Hall for the first time, I felt an immediate sense of belonging,” said Morin. “This time of transition is so exciting for me, and I am sure for Laura, too, because the love and joy inside the Mayfield family is irrepressible. It’s the beginning of a wonderful and productive relationship.”
In the coming months, Mayfield looks forward to Morin’s tenure and then formally welcoming Farrell to the school community this summer.

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