Saint James Board Names Future Head of School
The Saint James School Board of Directors unanimously selected Dr. Lawrence U. (Larry) McLemore as the succeeding Head of School following Mrs. Melba Richardson’s retirement June 30, 2015. After 32 years of exemplary service to Saint James School, Richardson announced her retirement date last summer to provide the school’s search committee adequate time to identify the best candidate possible to serve as her successor. McLemore will take his new post as Head of School on July 1, 2015, marking his 26th year of affiliation with Saint James School.
“The leader of an excellent school must be a visionary who eagerly anticipates the future, while always celebrating the current successes of students, teachers, and all member of the school family,” McLemore said. “It is my greatest honor to be chosen to lead Saint James School into the future. It takes vision, clarity of purpose, and the unwavering commitment of a talented team of educators to build and maintain a school that transforms lives; I am a product of that Saint James School vision and it my distinct privilege to carry on that work for future generations.”
McLemore’s career in education started in the classroom but has reached far beyond in recent years. He has taught several History courses, with his self-proclaimed favorite of Advanced Placement United States History - his students have earned an average score of 4.04 on the AP College Board exams over the past five years. In his early years of teaching, McLemore drew on his own field experience,
and served as a faculty member and a middle school and varsity football coach. In 2012, he moved into the role of Saint James High School College Counselor and Dean of Student Programs while continuing to teach his AP US History course. In 2014, he transitioned into the role of Director of Advancement for the school, while again, continuing to teach AP US History. As Director of Advancement, he has worked diligently to bring several of the school’s department strategies together, including Admissions, Alumni, Marketing, and Development.
In a letter announcing the head of school appointment, the Board of Directors said that McLemore was chosen from a slate of over three-dozen national and international candidates. In addition to weighing professional expertise, the search committee considered each applicant by measuring them against a list of qualifications deemed critical for the job including a person of honor, integrity and moral conviction; a positive communicator; someone who would be approachable to all members of the school community; a person of healthy self-confidence but with a good sense of humor; a person demonstrating a strong work ethic who would be firm and resolute in executing policy; and a person who holds a student-centered philosophy with a passion for working with and defining limits of young people.
“Dr. McLemore has served with distinction in his role as Director of Advancement,” the Board’s letter stated. “His foundation is built on Saint James; he will be the first Saint James graduate to serve as Head of School. We are confident Larry will be a dynamic leader for many, many years to come.”
McLemore, a native Montgomerian, completed his undergraduate studies summa cum laude in History and Political Science at Huntingdon College and earned his Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University. He completed his Doctorate in History from Auburn University where he was awarded for distinction in his doctoral fields of study. Larry is married to Josie Mitchell McLemore, and they have a two-year-old son, Wilder.