Julia de la Torre became Head of School in 2018. She is the ninth Head of School in what is considered the “modern era” at Moorestown Friends (post-1920, after the school reconsolidated on one property). She is the first female Head of School in Moorestown Friends School history. Prior to her appointment, she served as Head of Upper School at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, MI.
De la Torre was the Executive Director of Primary Source, a non-profit focused on global education and citizenship, from 2010-15. Prior to this leadership role, she also served as Program Director at Primary Source, where she developed and implemented professional development programs for teachers.
A graduate of Haverford College, de la Torre taught French and chaired the Foreign Language Department at Kent Denver School in Englewood, CO, before serving in the Peace Corps in Moldova. Subsequently, she completed a master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in International Educational Policy and a certificate in Non-Profit Management and Leadership at the Boston University Questrom School of Business.
“I credit my time at Haverford College as some of the most foundational years of my life,” reflected de la Torre. “It was there that I discovered teaching as my life’s work and it was there that I learned that honesty, collaboration, respect, and empathy were the key ingredients to supporting students in the classroom and beyond. Haverford was also my first introduction to Quakerism and to the kind of inclusive community that I want to always create in schools. In today’s complex world, the focus on academic excellence and ethical and spiritual growth at MFS is exactly the combination students need to thrive and contribute on a global scale.”
Additionally, she brings a deep commitment and dedication to independent schools. “I grew up in a small independent school community and have dedicated my teaching career to independent schools,” said de la Torre. “At the core of every independent school is the belief that relationships are what allow children to thrive, and it is that commitment to developing meaningful relationships with teachers, students, and families that keeps me coming back for more.”
Fluent in French and Romanian and proficient in Spanish, de la Torre grew up in a truly international home. A first-generation American born to a German mother and an Argentine father, she was raised in a family that in her words “valued cultural understanding, empathy, and human connection through commonality and difference.”
“I have had the incredible privilege of traveling all over the world,” said de la Torre. “Each time I encounter a new culture, I am humbled by how much I don’t know and inspired by the new way in which I see my own world. I am reminded that we, as people, can connect on some level with just about anyone. Whether or not we share a common language, culture, or custom, there is always something that brings us together as human beings.”
In her free time, de la Torre enjoys spending time with her family — husband Patrick and son Evan. de la Torre and her family enjoy travel, cooking, and anything outdoors — hiking, cycling, and running to name a few.
Julia de la Torre succeeded Laurence Van Meter (MFS Class of ’68) who retired at the conclusion of the 2017-18 school year.
Heads of School since 1920:
Elmer Barrett, 1920-1925
Chester Reagan, 1925-1955
Merrill Hiatt, 1955-1969
Alexander MacColl, 1969-1986
Gardiner Bridge, 1986-1987 (interim)
Clint Wilkins, 1987-1990
Alan Craig, 1990-2001
Julia de la Torre, 2018-
Take a video tour of Julia’s office: