Harpeth Hall announces new head of school

Veteran Pennsylvania-based educator to replace retiring Ann Teaff

Stephanie Balmer has been selected as the new head of school at Harpeth Hall, the chair of the school’s board of trustees announced today.

Balmer (pictured), who currently serves as vice president for enrollment, marketing and communications and as dean of admissions at Carlisle, Pa.-based Dickinson College, will assume the role in July 2014. She will succeed Ann Teaff, who in March announced her plans for retirement at the end of the current academic year.

“Stephanie Balmer is a strategic thinker who understands Harpeth Hall’s culture, mission, and vision for the future,” Nancy Beveridge, board chair, said in a release. “She will be an excellent leader and will contribute greatly to Harpeth Hall’s reputation for academic excellence and innovation.”

Balmer offers more than 22 years of higher education administration experience at private liberal arts colleges.

At Dickinson College, Balmer manages staff and programs in admissions, financial aid, institutional research, marketing and communications, and athletics. She serves as a senior officer of the college and as a member of the president’s staff, all-college committee on planning and budget, all-college committee on enrollment and student life, campaign steering committee, economic management committee, and the president’s commission on environmental sustainability.

Balmer has been an invited speaker to more than 60 independent schools across the nation, including Harpeth Hall, focusing on single-gender education, the college admission process and affordability.

Prior to joining Dickinson, Balmer served as the associate vice president for enrollment and dean of admission at Decatur, Ga.-based women’s private school Agnes Scott College, where she led, managed and developed the college’s enrollment strategy. Under her leadership, the school reached record enrollment and improved academic quality and diversity, according to Harpeth Hall.

Balmer graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Murray State University, and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University-Atlanta. She earned a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University and is currently pursuing her doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, which she expects to receive in May 2015.

“I am thrilled with the search committee’s selection of Stephanie Balmer as the next head of school,” Teaff said. “I have no doubt that her deep commitment to girls’ education and passion for making a difference in students’ lives will take Harpeth Hall in the right direction for years to come.”