Head of School Dr. Autumn A. Graves Accepts New Headship

Graves to begin new position at St. Anne’s-Belfield July 1, 2020; Dr. Kirk Walker to serve as Interim Head of School for 2020-21 academic year.
GPS is saddened to announce that Head of School Dr. Autumn A. Graves has submitted a letter of resignation to the Board of Trustees and will be leaving our community at the end of the 2019-20 school year. She has accepted a new leadership opportunity and will be Head of School at St. Anne’s-Belfield in Charlottesville, Virginia, beginning July 1, 2020.

In her letter to the Board, Dr. Graves noted that the position at St. Anne’s-Belfield School will take her back to her Virginia roots and enable her young children to have both of their parents in their daily lives. Graves’ husband, Vann, is currently the Executive Director of Brandcenter, a master’s program in advertising, business, and marketing at Virginia Commonwealth University.

St. Anne's-Belfield School is a coeducational, independent boarding and day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is located near the campus of the University of Virginia, from which Graves received her undergraduate degree.

“My time at GPS has been marked by professional and personal growth,” said Graves. “The girls have inspired me to be my best self, and I have loved working on their behalf with the teachers, staff, coaches, alumnae, parents, and trustees. I have learned that the GPS dress uniform is a visual representation of girls who are strong, thoughtful, resilient, and honorable. The GPS community will always have a special place in my heart.”

Dr. Rebecca Stimson ’73, Chair of the GPS Board of Trustees, said in response to the resignation, “Dr. Graves has been an outstanding leader for GPS, modeling the pioneering spirit of our Founders. She is a creative and tireless leader who has brought fresh ideas, great energy, and talent to the halls of GPS. She will be remembered for her commitment to continued excellence and for initiating new traditions and additions to the GPS campus.”

Dr. Kirk Walker, retired Headmaster of McCallie School, former GPS trustee, and past GPS parent, will serve as interim Head of School for the 2020-21 school year. Most recently, Walker served as President of the Southern Association of Independent Schools.

“We expect our interim year under Dr. Walker’s leadership to be one of continued progress in the important work of preparing girls for the 21st century,” said Stimson. “The Board of Trustees will immediately form a search committee for a new Head of School and, due to GPS’s national reputation as a top school for girls, expects to attract a large pool of highly qualified candidates.”

Additional information and updates are and will be posted on our website at