Head of School Laura Fuller

Laura Fuller returned to Wisconsin to lead University School of Milwaukee for the 2011–12 school year and is now in her ninth and final year as the head of school. Laura, who is the school’s first female head, recently announced her plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2019–20 school year.

Prior to her arrival at University School, Laura served from 2007 to 2011 as head of St. Catherine's School, an all-girls independent, Episcopal, JK–12 college-preparatory day school in Richmond, Virginia. Before St. Catherine's School, she served as head of upper school at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa and as head of the science department at The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut. Laura earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

Laura and her husband, Tom, are proud and grateful to be members of the University School community. "I am a big believer in embracing the concept of a family school, and our family has certainly felt this warmth and caring during our time here.” The Fullers have six adult children.

Laura credits her many years as a parent for helping her develop some of her most profound thoughts as an educator. "The children have taught me patience (and sometimes impatience), humility and compassion, perseverance, and that being a parent is the biggest gift any of us could ever experience."

She is the school’s eighth head since 1964, when University School of Milwaukee was formed as a result of the merger of the three schools—Milwaukee Country Day School, Milwaukee Downer Seminary, and Milwaukee University School.
Laura Fuller has shared her intent to retire from University School of Milwaukee at the end of the 2019–20 school year, which will be her ninth year leading the state’s top PK–12 school.

Under Fuller’s leadership, USM has seen continued academic success from its students, and the school’s reputation and enrollment have continued to grow as a result, evidenced by four years of record enrollment during her time. In addition to consistently having the highest average ACT scores in the state, the school has had 55 National Merit Scholarship Program finalists and 12 Intel ISEF Science Fair award winners during her tenure thus far. USM students have also earned 86 Scholastic Art Gold and Silver Key Awards and 23 varsity athletics state championships since her arrival.

Fuller is currently leading the ongoing $27 million Our Common Bond fundraising campaign, which is expected to exceed its goal prior to her departure. This campaign has helped grow the school’s robust endowment, and has also helped transform the campus through the recent completion of new and innovative classroom, fine arts, and community gathering spaces throughout the school, including the 3,336-square-foot Lubar Center for Innovation and Exploration, a new state-of-the-art performing arts center, and the Jack Olson ’67 Commons dining and community room. As a result, the school’s curriculum has continued to evolve for the benefit of all students through a commitment to blending new innovative pedagogies with traditional academics. Prior to Our Common Bond, Fuller led affinity fundraising projects to improve the ice arena and add new turf fields and a stadium to the campus.

On Sept. 23, 2019, USM announced the appointment of Steve Hancock as the school's ninth head of school, following a national search. Hancock, currently the headmaster at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, Tennessee, will begin his tenure on July 1, 2020.

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