Announcing the New Head of Upper School

After the conclusion of a nationwide search, Saint Mary’s Hall is pleased to name Elizabeth (Liz) Stockdale as our next head of Upper School. With an extensive background in education, Liz brings a high level of experience to our school. Most recently, Liz served as the Upper School dean of students at The Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, Tennessee. Previously, she was the student life coordinator and a history teacher at The Emery/Weiner School in Houston, Texas. She has also taught and coached at The Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia and Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.

Liz received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Sociology from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was a four-time varsity letterwoman on the women's lacrosse team and served as team captain. She also received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Humanities from Wesleyan University; a Master of Education in Independent School Leadership from Vanderbilt University; and she is currently finishing her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University.

Liz’s appointment follows overwhelming feedback from the SMH leadership team, Upper School Search Committee, and Upper School faculty, staff, students, and parents. A group of Upper School students and Middle and Upper School parents also spent time with Liz, during her visit to campus, and shared exceptionally positive feedback and optimism about her future leadership of our Upper School.

There is no doubt in my mind that (the future Doctor) Liz Stockdale will have an immediate impact on our campus. Her student-centered approach, her care for faculty culture, and her excitement for working with parents and school leadership, will serve us all well as we navigate the future together. The reaction to Liz’s visit was extremely positive, but I was most impressed with the way she interacted with our students and the way they responded to her. 

After meeting with Liz, a Form 11 student shared, “I immediately felt that Ms. Stockdale was good with students our age. She seemed very comfortable talking with us and was very sure-footed and detailed in nearly all her answers. I appreciated hearing about some of her personal experiences as the dean of students at her previous school. She seems like a good 'people person' and was very easy to talk to and converse with.”

In accepting this position, Liz said, “After meeting with Len and the SMH community, I am in awe of the student-centered innovation that is taking place on the campus. The practices, values, and traditions at Saint Mary’s Hall reflect a strong commitment to academic excellence and a nurturing community of character development.  It is truly an honor to partner with these incredible students, fabulous faculty, and dedicated parents as we embark on this journey together.”

We look forward to welcoming Liz and her family, husband Will Reiners and 15-month old daughter, Virginia Hughes Reiners to Saint Mary’s Hall and San Antonio on July 1, 2021. We know she will do an exceptional job of leading our Upper School and continue to elevate us to new heights of excellence.