Remembering Mary Love Reed, former Head of School

Katlin Seger
It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Mary Love Reed. Mary died peacefully on June 4, 2022. 

Mary joined The Walker School in 1972 as it became the Joseph T. Walker School. She ultimately became the first and only woman to be Head of School. According to Billie Walker, former teacher and Lower School Principal, Mary “ran a tight ship with an understanding that you’d do the right thing for the students and the school. That’s why I hired the types of teachers that I did. She had a great influence on me.”

During her tenure, Joseph T. Walker School was reorganized with a new and challenging curriculum with music, art and physical education being an integral part of the academic program.

In 1975 and 1976, Mary served as Vice President and then President of the Georgia Association of Independent Schools. By 1976, when Mary left her position to get married, Walker had been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, tripled its enrollment, added additional Pre-First, 4th, 7th and 8th grades, and was well on its way to becoming an outstanding college preparatory school. 

“When the school moved to the old building on Waterman Street, Board members sought a leader who would preserve that dedication to common values and goals, with the education and welfare of children its top priority, that spirit of community that prevailed among those who loved the school”, said Nancy Calhoun, who served The Walker School for over 30 years as a teacher and first middle school principal. 

“When they met Mary Love, they knew they had found the right leader who would be able to help preserve that spirit of community and inspire its growth. I’ve always thought of it as the spirit of Walker. I felt it during my first visit to the school, and I felt it every day afterward.”

Mary was a leader in every sense of the word. Every year, a Middle School student receives the Mary Love Leadership Award. The award, named in honor of the first head of school after Father Walker, is presented to the student who, in the opinion of the faculty, has demonstrated the most consistently positive leadership during their Middle School years. 

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 9, 2022, in the Historic Chapel of Mayes Ward Dobbins Funeral Home, Marietta. Visitation will be prior to the service from 10 to 11 a.m.. Contributions may be made to Must Ministries in Marietta.
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The Walker School is a private, co-ed day school offering opportunities in academics, arts, and athletics for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students in Metro Atlanta.