Head of School Autumn A. Graves

Dr. Autumn Adkins Graves joined the St. Anne's-Belfield School community as Head of School in 2020 after establishing herself as a leader within the education sector for 25 years. She comes to the School after recently serving as the Head of Girls Preparatory School (GPS) in Chattanooga, Tenn., and has previously held significant leadership roles at Mercersburg Academy, Breck School, Sidwell Friends, Friends Seminary, and Girard College.

While at GPS, Dr. Graves co-created the Mad, Bad, and Dangerous entrepreneurship program that engaged the entire Chattanooga region and was fully funded through community resources. She's been a long-term advocate for education, women, and children, previously serving on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor’s Advisory Roundtable, at the Creative Discovery Museum of Chattanooga, The Women's Fund of Greater Chattanooga, the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga, and The Shipley School in Philadelphia. Dr. Graves has received numerous awards during her career, including Philadelphia Business Journal's "40 under 40" in 2011 and O Magazine's "Women to Watch for the Decade List" in 2010. 

Dr. Graves is an active member of several selective members-only organizations in the independent school community. Her memberships include Heads Collegiate Forum (formerly The Country Day School Headmasters’ Association), The 1911 Group (formerly Head Mistresses Association of the East), and the Heads and Principals Association (formerly Headmasters Association)

Additionally, Dr. Graves cares deeply about innovation and leadership within independent schools. As a trustee and secretary for the Southern Association of Independent Schools she has served on its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) taskforce. Also, she is a trustee for The Heads Network, an organization that trains and sponsors women for leadership roles in independent schools. And recently, Dr. Graves joined the Leadership + Design board. A collaborative that designs experiences for the people who create the future of teaching and learning.

Dr. Graves earned a bachelor's degree in rhetoric and history from the University of Virginia, a master's degree in private school leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Vann, are parents to two current St. Anne’s Belfield School students in the classes of 2033 and 2035.