In a virtual meeting held December 7, 2021, Board Chair Dr. Cynthia Kelly announced the appointment of Lauren Mazzari as Saint Patrick Catholic School’s next Head of School, effective July 1, 2022.
With over 25 years of experience in education, Lauren is joining Saint Patrick from St. Luke’s School in New York City where she has served as the Head of Upper School since 2017. Her leadership at St. Luke’s School has helped shape and advance numerous areas of the school including curriculum development, strategic planning, faculty professional development, admissions, accreditation, and diversity and inclusion programming. Lauren played an integral role in several important school initiatives, including the development of St. Luke’s advisory program, a formal curriculum review process, a more efficient and inclusive parent-teacher conference format, and more science and STEAM offerings for students.
Before her time at St. Luke’s School, Lauren enjoyed twenty years at Lacordaire Academy, an independent Catholic school in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. During her tenure at Lacordaire Academy, she served as an English and religion teacher in middle school, Assistant Principal of the Elementary Division, Head of Lower and Middle School, Academy Director of Curriculum, and finally as the Assistant Head of School in her final five years at Lacordaire. Her notable impacts to the Lacordaire community ranged from raising over $250,000 to support technology initiatives to increasing the fine arts programming; and from hiring, mentoring, and evaluating faculty to marketing Lacordaire resulting in a 20% increase in enrollment.
As a leader, Lauren demonstrates intelligence, integrity, imagination, and empathy while empowering others to undertake challenges and effect change. She believes an effective Head of School furthers the mission by supporting a safe and nurturing community by leading with the question, “What best serves students and their families?” Lauren demonstrates entrepreneurial and innovative thinking that will help secure resources to support the continued growth and improvement of Saint Patrick. She looks forward to partnering with parents, faculty, staff, and students to continue growing this active and welcoming community. Lauren noted, “The opportunity at Saint Patrick Catholic School is compelling for many reasons: its prestigious reputation, its Catholic mission as supported by Glasser’s Choice Theory, and its structure as a PreK to 8 school. I enthusiastically support Catholic education for the value it places on faith, academics, and family and believe a PreK to 8 school provides unique opportunities for leadership, character development, and service.”
Lauren’s appointment is the culmination of an intensive, invigorating, and inclusive search process supported by Carney, Sandoe & Associates. The search involved participation from many members of the Saint Patrick community over the last nine months. Through a comprehensive process in which Carney Sandoe met with members from all constituency groups and through responses to the Head of School Search Survey, the Saint Patrick community expressed its hopes for the next Head of School. This information greatly assisted the Board of Directors/Search Committee in setting priorities for the search: an enthusiastic servant leader who is committed to the intentional total formation of children; a visionary leader committed to the Glasser Quality School model of education; and an approachable leader who engages with all constituents in a joyful and respectful manner.
No one was surprised with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received from all who met Lauren. The members of the Search Committee were tremendously impressed with Lauren’s experience, qualifications, and accomplishments. Her genuine compatibility with students, faculty, staff, parents, and friends of the school reinforced the feelings of every single Search Committee member - that she would be an excellent choice to lead Saint Patrick into its next chapter of excellence.
Lauren will assume leadership of Saint Patrick Catholic School in its 18th year, following the successful tenure of founding principal, Steve Hammond, who will retire after forty-nine years in education. Under Steve’s leadership, Saint Patrick has established itself as a premiere institution in the Hampton Roads community. As the only Catholic Glasser Quality School in the country, Saint Patrick is in a “league of its own.” Steve’s visionary and compassionate leadership continues to champion the school’s mission of educating and nurturing the whole child to be a Christ-centered, compassionate, and courageous servant leader. Steve will be integral to Lauren’s transition process, thus ensuring a strong continuity of leadership.
We look forward to having Lauren on campus in the months to come and to formally welcoming Lauren, her husband, Steven, and their two grown children, Matthew James and Steven Andrew to the Saint Patrick Catholic School community this summer.