Head of School Welcome


Knowing content and skills. Knowing oneself. Knowing the world. These are the qualities we are committed to instilling in our students to improve our school, our city, our society, our environment, and our world. Welcome to The Lovett School, a community who seeks to develop young men and women of honor, faith, and wisdom with the character and intellect to thrive in college and in life.
 
When I joined the school, I made the decision to move the portrait of our school's founder, Eva Edwards Lovett, into my office. Her image has proved to be a wonderful reminder of the responsibility I hold to steward her vision of a classically progressive education and a focus on the whole child.
 
I find it remarkable that Mrs. Lovett articulated and modeled an educational approach nearly a century ago that remains more relevant than ever. She wisely valued the inherent characteristics of childhood: honesty, curiosity, creativity, acceptance, and humor. She insisted on teaching children how to learn, as opposed to what to learn, and how to think, as opposed to what to think. In her own words, her goal was "to teach children to think for themselves, to recognize a problem and think it through, to develop their judgment, to decide for themselves, to accept responsibility."  
 
As an educator, I embrace Mrs. Lovett's belief that the total development of the child—intellectually, socially, artistically and physically—is of paramount importance. As a community, we share her hope that Lovett graduates will pursue lives of purpose, responsible influence, and authentic leadership, no matter where their individual roads might take them.
 
I look forward to getting to know your children and to partnering with you as we navigate together the complexities and delights of childhood, adolescence, teaching, learning, and parenting.

Meredyth Cole
Head of School

Lovett Administration

List of 15 items.

  • Meredyth Cole, Head of School

    Meredyth joined Lovett as Head of School on July 1, 2018 from The Episcopal School of Dallas. During her time at ESD, Meredyth focused on preparing the school’s students for intellectual discovery, integrity and purpose - concentrating on the classroom experience and increasing faculty professional development tenfold.  She also led the completion of the school’s first five-year strategic plan as well as launched a highly successful $75 million capital campaign. Prior to her role at ESD, Meredyth spent 23 years at The Madeira School, serving as Assistant Head of School and Acting Head of School. Her accomplishments while at Madeira included wide-ranging operational improvements, curriculum development, teaching, and the creation of programming and communications for the school’s centennial anniversary celebration. Meredyth earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from The University of Virginia and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of New England. Her board service includes the National Association of Episcopal Schools and the Southwest Preparatory Athletic Conference. She was also a National Association of Independent Schools E.E. Ford Fellow in 2003.
  • Chelle Wabrek, Associate Head of School

    A twenty-five-year veteran of independent schools both as a teacher and administrator, Chelle joined Lovett in 2019 from the Episcopal School of Dallas where she served as Head of Middle School. Prior to ESDChelle was an administrator and teacher at Louisville Collegiate School (KY), where she founded the Glenmary Academy, the city’s only independent school program for Upper School-aged non-traditional learners who wish to attend selective colleges and universities. Chelle also held administrative and teaching roles at Metairie Park Country Day School (LA) and other schools in New Orleans. Her extensive experience with curriculum design, team building, program oversight, and teaching experience in lower, middle and upper school equip her with a valuable skill set and perspective. 
  • Stewart Lathan, Assistant Head of School for External Affairs

    Stewart joined Lovett in 2015 as Assistant Head of School for External Affairs, responsible for the oversight of communications, development, alumni relations, and the school’s involvement with the Breakthrough Atlanta program. Stewart served as Associate Director of Development for Lovett from '97-'02. Stewart has more than 25 years of experience in the non-profit and independent school worlds, beginning her career at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., followed by a role on the corporate services team for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. She led development programs at Paideia School and two independent schools in England before her position as Head of Development at Atlanta International School from '09-'15. Stewart graduated from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta and earned a B.A. in Art History from Davidson College. She and her husband have three children.
  • Dan Alig, Head of Upper School

    After serving as an admission officer at Emory University, Dan began his independent-school career at St. John's School in Houston, Texas. He spent thirteen years there in a variety of roles: English teacher, college counselor, coach, dean, and department head. In 2013 Dan joined Lovett as the Upper School Principal. Aside from his administrative duties, he advises and teaches senior English and personal finance.
  • Debbie Franks, Head of Middle School

    Debbie serves Lovett as the Middle School Principal and as the Middle School Academic Dean. She has also held the position of Director of Student Activities, Dean of Students, and coach. She received an undergraduate degree in Classics and has a Master's Degree in Educational Administration with focus on Curriculum Development from Old Dominion University. Over her career, Debbie has taught leadership, Latin, English, and Social Studies. Debbie’s teaching experience includes various public and independent schools in North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia. Her independent school stints were at Marist School and Montgomery Bell Academy.
  • James Choi, Head of Lower School

    James joins Lovett from The John Cooper School, where he served as Assistant Head of the Lower School. During his tenure, he guided the division-wide implementation of Responsive Classroom and initiated a mentorship program to onboard first-year teachers in their transition to a new school. Mr. Choi received a Master of Education from the Klingenstein Center Teachers College at Columbia University and a Master of Science in Teaching Literacy and Childhood Education from Bank Street Graduate School of Education. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University. 
  • Janie Coleman Beck, Director of Admission

    Janie joined Lovett's Admission Office in 2008. Before coming to Lovett, she served as the assistant director of admission and financial aid at Saint Andrew's School in Boca Raton, Fla., as well as a girls' dormitory parent. She earned a B.A. in art and art history from Sewanee: The University of the South, graduating cum laude.
  • Darren Rish, Chief Financial Officer

    Darren brings more than 25 years of progressive experience in finance and operations management to his new role, joining us from Comcast Cable, where he has served as Regional CFO/Vice President Finance and in other leadership positions since 2003. Darren has worked with small start-ups as well as Fortune 500 companies over the course of his career, developing a strong background in implementing financial controls, improving productivity and building relationships across organizations like The Home Depot, BellSouth and Ernst & Young. Darren earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting from Bucknell University and his MBA in Finance from Emory University's Goizueta Business School. He and his wife, Tara, have been married for twenty years and have two children who attend Blessed Trinity High School in Roswell.
  • Steve Brown, Director of Financial Aid and Institutional Research

    Steve has worked with Lovett admissions and financial aid since 2005. He previously served as a math teacher and coach at Lovett from 1993-98. Steve earned his B.S. in Mathematics from Wake Forest University and M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Steve is also a former professional football player in both the National and Canadian Football Leagues, and was an Olympic athlete in the 110-meter high hurdles. Before rejoining the staff at Lovett, he was a sales trader for Wachovia Capital Markets. 
  • Elizabeth Pearce '87, Chief Development Officer

    A native of Atlanta, Elizabeth graduated from The Lovett School, Class of 1987, and Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee with a B.A. in Business Administration. She has an M.B.A. from Georgia State University. Prior to joining Lovett, Elizabeth was a consultant with Coxe Curry & Associates for over 16 years. Before joining Coxe Curry & Associates in 2000, Elizabeth worked as a PeopleSoft Project Manager and Consultant at Deloitte Consulting. 
  • Courtney Fowler, Director of Communications and Marketing

    With almost a decade of school communications experience, Courtney joined Lovett's communications and marketing team in December 2015 from a similar role at Atlanta International School. Prior to her work at AIS, she managed corporate communications for Novare Group, an Atlanta-based real estate development firm. Her background also includes advertising agency and client-side experience with international brands such as General Motors, Nabisco and Club Med. Courtney graduated from Washington & Lee University with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Psychology.
  • Adam Nelson ’93, Director of Athletics

    Adam Nelson, class of ’93 alumnus and Olympic gold medalist, has returned to the Riverbank to lead Lovett’s Athletic Department. He comes to Lovett from The D10 in Houston, Texas, “an NFL Combine-style sports competition featuring athletes from around the country raising money for pediatric cancer,” where he served as CFO/COO. Adam attended Dartmouth College as an undergraduate, where he was a four-year letterman in football and track & field and received his Bachelor of Government. In 2008, Adam received his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the department, Adam will work closely with school leadership to position the program for the continued growth of the school’s strong tradition in athletics.
  • Jay Freer '78, Director of Fine Arts

    Jay Freer, a 1978 Lovett graduate, received a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts and was a Kenan Scholarship winner. He has taught and directed more than 78 plays and musicals at Lovett over the last 27 years. He won the Woodward Award for Excellence in teaching in 1992, the Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006, and accepted the position of Director of Fine Arts in 2007. In 2008, The Charles Loridans Foundation recognized Jay for excellence and leadership in theater education. Professionally, Jay has directed at The Alliance Theater, Aurora Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, and Theatre in the Square, and was also the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Actors Theatre of Atlanta (ATA).
  • Ellice Hawkins, Director of Multicultural Programs & Services

    Ellice left the corporate sector and started a career in education in the Office of Student Activities at Morehouse College (GA) where she worked for close to 10 years. She took some time off to raise her family, and in 2005, she came to Lovett as the director of multicultural programs and services where she has been ever since.  At Lovett, Ellice teaches Lovett Life Lesson (LLL) on Diversity, chairs the Diversity Action Committee (DAC), is one of the advisors to the student organization Teens Against Prejudice (TAP) and is the administrative liaison for the Lovett International Alliance (LIA).
  • Lara Kauffman, Director of Alumni Programs

    Lara joined the Alumni Office in 2013, but has been part of the Lovett community since 1999. Prior to accepting the Alumni Director position, she was an assistant athletic director for nine years. In her first five years at Lovett, Lara served as an educational technology teacher. She also led the varsity girls basketball program for six seasons. Before Lovett, Lara worked at Turner Broadcasting System and as a recruiting coordinator and assistant women's basketball coach for Georgia Tech's Athletic Association. She received her B.S. in management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. 
The Lovett School is an independent, coeducational day school where children from Kindergarten through Grade 12 find the courage to explore and the drive to discover.

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