Dr. Autumn Adkins Graves joined the St. Anne’s-Belfield School community as Head of School in 2020 after establishing herself as a leader within the education sector for 25 years. After recently serving as the Head of Girls Preparatory School (GPS) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she comes to the School. She has previously held significant leadership roles at Mercersburg Academy (PA), Breck School (MN), Sidwell Friends (DC), Friends Seminary (NY), and Girard College (PA).
While at GPS, Autumn co-created the Mad, Bad, and Dangerous entrepreneurship program that engaged the entire Chattanooga region and was fully funded through community resources. She’s been a long-term advocate for education, women, and children, previously serving on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor’s Advisory Roundtable, at the Creative Discovery Museum of Chattanooga, The Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga, the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga, and The Shipley School in Philadelphia. Autumn has received numerous awards during her career, including Philadelphia Business Journal’s “40 under 40” in 2011 and O Magazine’s “Women to Watch for the Decade List” in 2010.
Autumn is a member of The Country Day School Headmasters’ Association and recently elected into The Headmasters Association’s membership. These organizations are historically male-dominated, and Autumn is incredibly proud to be a member that represents women of color in these organizations.
Additionally, Autumn serves as a director for William H. Sadlier Inc., an educational publishing company. She also currently serves as the treasurer and trustee for The Heads Network, and as a trustee for the Southern Association of Independent Schools, and as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) taskforce.
Autumn earned a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and history from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in private school leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.