Autumn Adkins Graves has been named the new Head of School at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, effective July 1, 2014.
She will be the successor to Dr. Sue Groesbeck who has served as interim Head of School since the recent retirement of Randy Tucker.
According to a statement from the school's Board of Trustees, Graves most recently served as president of Girard College, an independent boarding school for students grades 1-12 in Philadelphia. She also previously served as upper school dean of students at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. She is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania. While Graves's chief responsibilities throughout her career have been in school administration, she has also taught United States History and Health and Wellness and has served as a student advisor and coach.
She grew up in Richmond, Va., and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia. She holds a master's degree from Columbia University and is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania.
Her husband, R. Vann Graves, serves as executive vice president and global executive creative director of McCann Worldgroup, a leading global advertising and communications firm headquartered in New York City.
Named O Magazine's Woman to Watch for the Decade in 2010, she was an NAIS Edward E. Ford Fellow for Emerging Leaders and the recipient of a Klingenstein Center Fellowship at Columbia University's Teachers College.
In accepting the GPS appointment, Graves said, "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. This commitment resonates with me personally 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."