head of school
With more than 25 years of experience in education, Mrs. Laura Farrell came to Merion Mercy in the summer of 2019 from St. Catherine's School in Richmond, Virginia, one of the largest all-girls (Pre-K-12) schools in the country, where she served as the Dean of Faculty.
At St. Catherine's, her leadership helped to shape and advance many areas of the school, including all academic and signature programming, such as Girls Innovate and global education. She played an integral part in several key school initiatives, including professional development, marketing/branding, school accreditations, diversity and inclusion programming, and capital projects.
A seasoned independent school leader, Mrs. Farrell's career began in the classroom. Upon earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William & Mary, Mrs. Farrell taught 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. While teaching, Mrs. Farrell emerged as a leader and distinguished herself through her work on technology initiatives; curriculum design, review, and implementation; and staff development and mentoring.
Mrs. Farrell is thrilled to now lead Merion Mercy. She shares Merion Mercy’s unwavering commitment to all-girls education and academic excellence.
She is also committed to the Mercy Core Values. “I am deeply impressed by how the school lives its mission on a daily basis. Many schools talk about their mission, but at Merion, you truly see girls embrace it, and put it into action by how they treat others and serve those in need,” said Mrs. Farrell.
She is a thoughtful listener who balances input with an ability to make strategic decisions. She understands and elevates the importance of diversity and inclusion. Mrs. Farrell builds strong processes and relationships with a genuine communication style. She champions professional development for faculty and staff and embraces a growth mindset. From day one of stepping on campus, Mrs. Farrell said, “I will listen and learn all I can about the school community. That means meeting with teachers, students, parents and staff. I want to hear people’s stories about Merion and learn what’s important to them.”
Trustees and fellow administrators rave about her intellect, integrity, compassion, drive, and strong sense of community. “No surprise, Laura Farrell’s reputation perfectly aligns with the impression you get when you meet her in person,” said MMA Trustee Lisa Nicolella Farrell '78. “She’s as sincere as they come.” Moreover, everyone speaks so very highly of her husband and two children. “Tony, Lucy, Will, and I are thrilled to join the Merion Mercy family,” said Mrs. Farrell.