Victoria Jueds named director of Laboratory Schools

Victoria (Tori) Jueds, an administrator and educator with experience in primary, secondary and higher education, has been appointed director of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

Since 2017, Jueds has served as head of school at Westtown School in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a college preparatory day and boarding school for students pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Jueds oversaw the creation of a long-range strategic vision focused on academic development, sustainable maximization of campus resources, and diversity and inclusion. Under her leadership, Westtown undertook significant program innovations, including the expansion of world language choice, a three-divisional approach to visual and performing arts, the introduction of history electives from diverse perspectives, expanded support for student mental health, and a deep dive into curricular and co-curricular science offerings. Jueds also was instrumental in strengthening donor relations and increasing alumni engagement.

Prior to leading Westtown, she served for 10 years in a variety of roles at Princeton University focused on the student experience, rising to Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Students. She previously held the positions of Teacher, Resident Faculty, and Dorm Head at the summer session of Phillips Exeter Academy and was a lecturer at George Washington University Law School. Earlier in her career, she worked as an attorney in New York and Washington, D.C., litigating cases involving civil rights and civil liberties issues.

“The Laboratory Schools have a tradition of encouraging scholarship, curiosity, creativity and confidence in young people, and Tori will provide the strong academic leadership needed to maintain the distinctive quality of a Lab education,” said President Robert J. Zimmer. “She is also committed to fostering a rigorous student-centered education, enhancing diversity and inclusion, and building on the connections between Lab and the rest of the University.”

Jueds, whose appointment is effective Aug. 16, 2021, holds a JD from Harvard Law School and an AB in History & Literature from Harvard College.

As Laboratory Schools director, Jueds will oversee all four divisions—Nursery-Grade 2, and Lower, Middle and High schools—stewarding their distinctive cultures, supporting their faculties, and encouraging creativity, innovation and exploration. She will be responsible for developing the human and financial resources the Schools need to continue to excel, promoting a community that engages alumni, families, the University and the city of Chicago.

‘‘I am deeply honored by the opportunity to serve as Lab’s next director,” Jueds said. “Lab’s teaching excellence, academic rigor, and leadership in progressive education, united behind a founding focus on democracy, are second to none. I look forward to partnering with the faculty, staff, Board, and University to equip Lab students for fulfilling futures, give them an appetite for scholarship and lifelong learning, and provide them with a healthy sense of belonging.’’

American philosopher and educator John Dewey founded the Laboratory Schools in 1896 to test and demonstrate his educational theories. Since then, Lab has continued to be an integral part of the University of Chicago, now serving more than 2,000 students from nursery school through 12th grade.

Jueds succeeds David Magill, who returned to Lab in May 2020 to serve as interim director. Magill was the director of Laboratory Schools for 11 years before retiring in 2014.