The Lawrenceville School has appointed Allison Easterling as its dean of Academics and Devondra McMillan as its dean of Students, effective July 1.
Easterling began her Lawrenceville career in 2005. Since then, she has held leadership roles in nearly all areas of school life, most recently as associate dean of Faculty. She has served on a number of critical committees for the school, advising on academics, athletics, strategic planning, and pace and quality of life, according to a statement provided by the school.
She is currently part of the school’s COVID-19 Contingency Planning Committee, helping to design the school’s first-ever online schedule and associated faculty training during the school’s transition to remote learning.
“Over the course of her significant tenure at Lawrenceville, as an outstanding classroom teacher, department chair, head of House, coach and associate dean, Alison has consistently demonstrated dedicated scholarship, relentless work ethic, deep-seated integrity, and unstinting commitment to the school. As we interviewed her, I was struck by her ability to approach a series of complicated questions with her characteristic methodical thought process combined with a fresh, creative spirit. She is extraordinarily well equipped to build on the excellent work of our current Dean of Academics, Dave Laws,” Head of School Steve Murray said in the statement.
In her current role as associate dean of Faculty, Easterling partners with the dean of Faculty and Human Resources Office on teacher recruitment, professional development and retention, and is a mentor to new department chairs.
She oversees the recruitment and hiring portions of Lawrenceville’s Woods Teaching Fellows Program and the University of Pennsylvania Independent Schools Teaching Residency program.
She was the co-chair of the school’s Task Force on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and is currently co-chair of the Task Force on Recruitment and Retention, which is focusing primarily on strategies for hiring and retaining faculty and staff of color.
As history department chair, she set departmental priorities, including a scope and sequence for student research in grades 9-12. She has taught a broad range of history classes, and developed senior electives on the history of modern Latin America and women and gender history in the United States.
Easterling has contributed to Lawrenceville’s residential life as a Head of House and to athletics as a boys and girls track coach.
She has also been a part of the school’s experiential learning initiatives, chaperoning student trips in Africa, Europe, and North America.
“I am grateful and honored to have the opportunity to serve The Lawrenceville School as dean of Academics. I am eager to work with department chairs on key initiatives that will support the academic strengths of the school, and develop creative solutions that will continue to move us forward. I also see my role as partnering with all faculty members to support our work with students in the classroom and beyond. As dean of Academics, I am committed to leading with transparency, approachability, curiosity, and collaboration. I’m excited to continue to work with the outstanding faculty of The Lawrenceville School in this new role,” Easterling said in the statement.
Easterling serves on the Board of Trustees for the French-American School of Princeton, and is a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent School’s Professional Development Committee.
McMillan returns to Lawrenceville from The Walker School in Marietta, Georgia, where she was the assistant head of the Upper School for the past year.
She served the Lawrenceville School in roles that include chair of the Language Department and classics teacher. As Second Form Level director, she drew on her experience as an assistant head of House in Second, Third and Fourth Form residences. One of her most significant areas of impact in this role was the design and implementation of a robust orientation and residential curriculum program, building a deliberate and thoughtfully curated community for the Second Form, according to the statement.
In collaboration with colleagues, she guided residential policy within Second Form Houses, overseeing and evaluating associated advisors and heads of House.
McMillan was also part of the Academic Review Committee, where she monitored student performance and created support plans and interventions to help Lawrentians thrive.
“I could not be more pleased to welcome Devondra back to Lawrenceville. Driven by heartfelt convictions, she is a passionate advocate for students, and with her deep affection for the School, she invites us to work together to make it even better. I look forward to partnering with her and supporting her,” Murray said in the statement.
As a Lawrenceville classics teacher, McMillan taught all levels of Latin, Greek I, and a Second Form humanities course. She initiated Harkness travel programs in Greece, Italy and Morocco, and was a co-leader on journeys to Austria, China and Germany.
McMillan was also a Big Red varsity outdoor track and field coach, girls junior varsity soccer team assistant coach, and a yoga instructor.
McMillan is a two-time Fulbright Grant recipient and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University. At the University of Georgia, where she is completing her master’s degree in classical language, she received the Graduate School Dean’s Award and, from the University of Chicago, the Outstanding Educator Award. She also received numerous honors during her time at Lawrenceville, including the Doll Family Teaching Chair for Promising Young Faculty and a Joukowsky Grant.
“Lawrentians are an amazing group of people and I am excited by the opportunity to be back with them,” McMillan said in the statement. “When I was at Lawrenceville, I would often remind Second Formers that our school is about building community. We can shape the Lawrenceville community to be what we want to be and, as dean of Students, I will be honored to spearhead that effort.”
The Lawrenceville School, located in Lawrenceville, enrolled 832 students from 32 U.S. states and 38 countries/territories in 2021.