Evelyn Flory, a teacher and administrator for more than 30 years, says she has found a home.
"I look at this as the last school I will ever serve," Dr. Flory said yesterday, just before her installation ceremony as the fifth headmistress of St. Paul's School for Girls in Brooklandville.
Dr. Flory, who has taught English in private secondary schools and in New York state's public university system, replaces Lila Lohr, headmistress for nine years, who left to head Princeton Day School in Princeton, N.J.
"She will be a tough act to follow," Dr. Flory said.
Dr. Flory said she had not arrived with a predetermined plan. But at St. Paul's, which boasts a computer-to-student ratio of 1-to-5, she hopes to renovate the curriculum after introducing the school to the Internet, the worldwide information service.
She said schools work best when they create single-sex classrooms, but use them in moderation. She experimented with all-girls math and science classes as head of Marin Academy, a coeducational day school in Marin County, Calif.
"I discovered that girls don't need boys to laugh at them during calculus and boys don't need to be laughed at by girls," she said.
St. Paul's School and St. Paul's School for Girls will continue to instruct boys and girls on separate parts of the Falls Road campus, Dr. Flory said.
She said she has enjoyed the enthusiasm of secondary school students at St. Paul's, which has grades five to 12. Senior Sheila Ravendhran explained: "Like when we had pajama day at school, Dr. Flory got to be a judge in the Best Slippers contest."