Headmistress leaving St. Paul's School

September 30, 1994|By Mary Maushard | Mary Maushard,Sun Staff Writer

Lila Lohr, headmistress of St. Paul's School for Girls since 1986, will be leaving the Brooklandville school at the end of this school year.

"I am eager for a new challenge," Ms. Lohr said in a statement announcing her departure, though she said later in an interview that she does not have a specific challenge in mind. "I want to run another school," she said. "I've absolutely loved it here, but I've spent nearly 30 years encouraging girls and young women to see the benefits of change and risk taking. I feel it's time for me to listen to my own advice."

Before coming to St. Paul's, Ms. Lohr, 49, spent 15 years at Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore as a teacher, upper and lower school director and assistant headmistress. She grew up in the Baltimore area. Despite nearly 25 years in girls' schools, Ms. Lohr said she would not rule out a position at a co-educational institution.

"I'm going to look far and wide," she added, noting that her three grown children live on the West Coast, which gives her "geographic latitude."

Among her accomplishments at St. Paul's, the headmistress listed the establishment of a day care center, St. Paul's Plus, which has 140 youngsters ages 2 to 6. The center opened five years ago with just a few students.

She said she is also proud of her "terrific administrative team;" of the cooperation with St. Paul's School, the neighboring boys' institution; and of being able to continue the "sense of community that is here, that is a hallmark" of the 36-year-old school. St. Paul's School for Girls has 322 students this year, she said.

Ms. Lohr informed the board of trustees of her decision last week. She said she announced her resignation before lining up a new job so the board would have time to choose a new headmistress and ensure a smooth transition for next school year.

"The board was very surprised . . . but understands her desire to move on," said Beth Smith, the school's director of public relations. The board will conduct a nationwide search for a successor, whom it expects to appoint by spring, she said.

Ms. Lohr has been active in academic and community affairs, serving on a number of boards and as president of the board of trustees of the Association of Independent Maryland Schools for two years. She also is a writer whose work has appeared on the opposite editorial pages of The Sun and The Evening Sun. She writes a regular column for Family Magazine, a local monthly publication.

"I've written quite a bit," said Ms. Lohr. "I enjoy writing. I hope to be able to continue that."

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