March 30, 2023
Annapolis, US 44 F

St. Anne’s Associate Head of School Selected or Fellowship

Connie Coker, Associate Head of School at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis, has been selected for the National Association of Independent School’s (NAIS)  Fellowship for Aspiring School Heads 2023-24 cohort. Mrs. Coker is one of only sixty-two fellows from across the nation who were chosen for their excellence in leadership, remarkable passion, and aspirations to become a head of school. This year-long program is unique within the independent school community and among the best leadership development programs in the country. Over the course of the next year, Mrs. Coker will be paired with mentors, experts, and thought leaders within the independent school community to gain greater insight, engage in new experiences, and broaden relationships. Mrs. Coker views this fellowship as a “pinnacle experience” in her journey of education, and when asked what it means to have been selected, she said, “I am quite excited and humbled to have this unique opportunity to grow as a leader.”

Mrs. Coker was instilled with a passion for education at an early age. She recalls, “My parents grew up in the same rural Tennessee town. Between their two families, my father was the only one to attend college—a luxury afforded only to males whose parents had saved diligently. While my mother was not afforded the same opportunity, she was passionate about education and worked tirelessly to become the Executive Assistant to the President at the University of Tennessee. When she was gifted two tickets to President George H. W. Bush’s keynote address at the university, she made sure that I, her only daughter, attended with her. With curled hair, a new dress, and my second-grade legs dangling over my chair, I sat next to my mother and listened to President Bush promote education initiatives in response to A Nation at Risk. Afterwards, I was interviewed by the local newspaper and was treated as a celebrity when I returned to school. My spark for education was ignited, and I never looked back.”

Mrs. Coker went on to become a student at the University of Tennessee, where through her weekly tutoring sessions with at-risk high school students, she developed a deeper understanding of the power of education to impact societal change and generational wealth. This spurred her to apply to Education Schools, and after earning her Master of Education from Wake Forest University, she began a career fully immersed in the world of education. Mrs. Coker has taught in public, independent, and parochial schools and has worked with students, teachers, administrators, and families across Maryland, North Carolina, Japan, and Rwanda. Throughout her career, she has remained committed to impacting local and global communities through education.

Mrs. Coker brings dedication, professionalism, and a willingness to take on new challenges to school every day. Her passion for education is evident in her interactions with all of our students; she truly knows the children and always has time for an encouraging word. She is also an incredible support to our teachers and addresses all needs and concerns head on.

Leslie Edinburg, Chief Finance & Operations Officer, St. Anne’s School (Nominated Mrs. Coker)

Mrs. Coker is excited to bring back her learnings to St. Anne’s School, stating, “I find great life purpose in cultivating community. As I gain greater leadership insight for growing and strengthening communities, it is my hope that students, teachers, and families at St. Anne’s School will be direct benefactors. I also want to share the impactful work currently happening at St. Anne’s School with a larger network of schools. St. Anne’s School is a leader in many regards, and I look forward to serving as a conduit to the greater community to share this leading work.”

As Mrs. Coker looks to the future, she is eager for the year ahead and thankful for the opportunity.

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